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TMS Teacher Facing Charges After 'Altercation' With Student

Tolland teacher Steven Tozier has been charged after allegedly placing a 13-year-old male student in a headlock during school on June 7.

gym teacher Steven Tozier has been charged with second-degree breach of peace and second-degree reckless endangerment after allegedly putting a 13-year-old male student in a headlock, according to a Rockville Superior Court affidavit. 

In the affidavit, the student, described as "victim 1," said that Tozier grabbed him by the shirt as he was climbing the stairs to go to gym class on June 7.

The victim said, "Once we got to the top of the stairs, Mr. Tozier was directly behind me, and I was facing the wall with my left side. Mr. Tozier came up to me, put his right arm around my throat area and put me into a headlock. While doing so, my left side of my head above my ear struck the wall. Mr. Tozier had me in a headlock and I was trying to get out of it. Mr. Tozier did not squeeze while I was in the headlock, but it was tight enough to where I could feel the pressure on my neck."

A number of other students and another staff member were also on the stairs during the incident, according to the affidavit. Other students confirmed that Tozier grabbed the student and that the student's head made contact with the wall.

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Principal Walter Willett spoke to Tozier and a union representative about the incident, according to the affidavit. During that meeting, Tozier said that he did put his arm around the student's shoulder, but that it was in jest and that the students were "goosing" and "tapping" him on the arm while they were on the stairs, according to the affidavit.

Tozier added that he and the victim have exchanged high fives in the past, according to the affidavit.

Fellow teacher Hannah Thibodeau said that she saw Tozier "messing with a kid" and that she believed she saw the student laughing. 

The incident was reported to school officials when the victim went to lunch and asked secretary Debbie Misiura what would happen to a staff member if he or she put a student in a headlock, the affidavit said. Misiura then brought the student to speak to Willett. 

According to the nurse's report in the affidavit, there was no bruising or redness on the student, with the exception of a half-inch reddened mark on the right side of his neck, below his earlobe. 

When asked if Tozier had been placed on administrative leave, Superintendent William Guzman had no comment.

Tozier was previously released from coaching duties in 2010 after parents alleged that .

Tozier is due in Rockville Superior Court for an arraignment on Aug. 8, according to the state judicial website.

Theron DeBella August 22, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Who wants to be a teacher nowadays when the slightest incident bringing law and order to the school gets them in the paper or worse, fired. Why spend 4 to 8 years of good college money only to have to walk on eggshells when every parent, that should be disciplining their own children, freak out because little Johnny or Jane needs to be snapped back in line. What is this world of "Save the Whales Coming too"? Get a grip and grow a backbone. Why destroy a man's life and livelihood. I am embarrassed we as a society have become so soft. Maybe little Johnny can live with his parents until he is 40 and never be held accountable like the rest of the handout society. Give the man a break for if you have never worn his shoes then you have no idea what he has to deal with or the environment he works in.
Jane Doe August 26, 2012 at 11:52 PM
The facts are that DCF found no case!!
Tolland Resident September 07, 2012 at 03:02 AM
TO THE PERSON WHO ALSO COMMENTED ON THIS: Your children are overacting liars, because they are CHILDREN and any one who has actually met the man would know that is all a completely blown out of proportion and untrue. Unlike over protective parents who take everything their child says and make it a big deal. This makes me so angry cause its untrue and now a great man's life is ruined because of it. I would never want to be a teacher with kids these days, anything they say could ruin your career. Pathetic.
Tolland Resident September 07, 2012 at 03:06 AM
11,12,13 year old CHILDREN who overreact and make up LIES. Then their over protective parents do anything they can to speculate and ruin a makes life based on something an 11 year old said? I had Mr. Tozier and he was actually one of my favorite teachers who is well respected by many. I feel sorry for him because he doesn't deserve this. Parents in the case make me angry cause they have never had him as a teacher or met him yet, they think they know everything about this man. THIS IS BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION AND IS UNDESERVED.
Tolland Resident September 07, 2012 at 03:08 AM
EXACTLY!!! agree 100%

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