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Chaska middle school teacher cited for disorderly conduct
Jun 16, 2011 | 5060 views | 4 4 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A Chaska Middle School East teacher received a disorderly conduct citation (a misdemeanor) following an incident with a student, according to a Chaska Police report.

At about 8:45 a.m., May 26, John Thomas Saindon allegedly grabbed a sixth-grader at Chaska Middle School East after the student attempted to run a race in his bare feet after the teacher told the student not to, the report stated.

Saindon, a Victoria resident, grabbed the student’s left arm in the middle of the race and pulled him to the opposite end of the gym, where he placed the student on a bench, the report stated.

The student, about 12 years old, “sustained a reddish bruise/mark on his left arm (near his bicep) as a result of being grabbed and pulled down the gym court by Saindon,” the report stated.

Chaska Middle School East Principal Jim Bach reported the incident to the police at 12:45 p.m. Bach had already spoken to Saindon about the incident earlier in the day at the District 112 Educational Center, with a union representative present.

According to his district web page, Saindon teaches personal wellness, sixth-grade health and adaptive physical education at CMSE. He also teaches at Jonathan Elementary School.

The incident

The boy was in his first-hour gym class, when he punched a punching bag hanging in the room, according to the boy’s statement in the police report. Saindon told him not to punch the bag and to sit down.

Later in the class, during a “shuttle” race, students asked the teacher if they could run the race in bare feet (hoping for a faster time) and Saindon told them no, according to the boy’s statement.

The alleged victim ran the shuttle race twice with his shoes on and, on his third race, kicked off both shoes. Saidon jumped in the student’s way in the middle of the race, grabbed him and brought him to the end of the gymnasium, walking “so quickly that [the student] almost fell down once while being pulled across the gym. [The student] was then brought to a bench area where Mr. Saindon yelled at him (very loud) to ‘sit down and don’t move,’” the boy told the police.

Saindon then walked back, picked up the student’s shoes, and threw them back by their shoelaces, about one-half the length of the gym floor, in the direction of the student, the boy told the police.

Saindon told the student that that he should receive a day of suspension for his behavior, the report stated.

“He admitted that he has received consequences for poor behavior in Mr. Saindon’s class approx. three times prior to this incident occurring. He also added that he has been spoken to by Mr. Saindon for disruptive behavior during class anywhere from 10-30 times this entire school year,” the report stated.

The student, who visited a nurse after the incident, told the police that he thought Saindon had overreacted to the situation.

Another student who witnessed the event told police “this was the ‘worst thing’ she had ever seen a teacher do.”

Saindon told Chaska School Resource Officer Trent Wurtz, who investigated the incident, that he was advised by his attorney, Sarah MacGillis, not to speak to law enforcement. MacGillis, contacted by the newspaper, said she didn’t make comments while a case is pending.


The Minnesota Department of Education is investigating the case, according to the Chaska police report.

The district is also investigating. “The district goes into investigation mode and we interview and try to talk to all the parties involved and that’s what we did and it’s still within that process,” said Nancy Kracke, director of district community/staff relations.

Saindon, the school principal and the student’s family later met. “Mr. Saindon was clearly upset about his actions and said to the family he has ‘never done that before and won’t do it again,’” the report stated.

The student’s stepfather told police that “his family would prefer the incident stop here and charges not be filed; however, he did understand that we would be making that decision,” the report stated.

“Normal course of action(s) for teachers when dealing with noncompliant students would include a request that the action(s) be stopped, request the student to leave the classroom and go to the main office, and finally, if those don’t work, a call to the main office to have someone (Dean of Students) remove the distraction from the class setting – none of these customary and routine actions were chosen by Saindon who is an experienced teacher,” according to the police report.

Those cited with a misdemeanor receive a court date, where they enter a plea. A disorderly conduct citation can result in a maximum $700 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Concerned writer
October 08, 2011
What charges would the father the child be facing if he did the exact same thing to that teacher during class?
August 01, 2011
The follow-up story was posted on July 28:
July 29, 2011
If you are going to leave this story up for two months, the least you can do is report when thee charges have been dropped! (They have been, by the way)
July 11, 2011
The Star Tribune has followed up on this story:
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