The Kailua High School wood shop teacher accused of throwing a hammer that hit a 19-year-old student earlier this month was charged with assault this week and remains on paid leave as the Department of Education investigates.
David Izumi, of Kailua, was charged with third-degree assault on Wednesday and posted $200 bail. He is scheduled to appear in Kaneohe District Court at 8:30 a.m. May 25.
Police said the Kailua High School teacher threw a hammer that hit a student on April 14. The student and his parents filed a police report after the incident.
Izumi could not be reached for comment.
A Department of Education spokeswoman said the safety of the students is of the “highest priority” and that the investigation continues.
Tim Bitanga, father of the student who was injured by the hammer, said his son Branden received four staples to close the gash on the back of his head.
He said he was “extremely frustrated and angry” about how the school handled the incident, leaving his son in the school nurse’s office for about two hours with an open wound until he arrived.
The day his son was injured, he received a call from his wife who told him the school called and said they needed to pick up their son. Bitanga left work early and found his son in the office with some wrapping around his head. School staff told him that he should take his son to the emergency room.
Bitanga was upset that no police or medical professionals were called, and suggested that if a student had thrown a hammer and injured a teacher, the school would have immediately called police or an ambulance for the injuries.
He hired a lawyer, but hasn’t filed a lawsuit yet. He said he wants the school to improve its policy for assisting students injured by staff.
Bitanga declined to describe what happened in that wood shop class under advisement of his attorney. According to some students at the high school, however, the teacher apparently threw the hammer, which ricochetted and hit the boy.
Bitanga said the teacher apparently threw other items earlier in the day and was trying to get the students’ attention. He said his son wasn’t causing trouble and wasn’t even facing the teacher when he was hurt.