Chesterfield, VA—Students are fighting to have embattled Matoaca Middle School band teacher Micheal Harrah reinstated, after he was charged with assaulting an 11-year-old student last month.
"This, to me, was just another step that had to be taken in this case," said 8th-grader Jackson Green. Jackson has collected about 450 signatures on a petition to reinstate Harrah to his position.
In January, Harrah was accused of assaulting a 11-year-old student, and was charged the next day. Jackson says he supports his teacher, even while he is facing such a serious charge.
"I'm a person who stands up for what I believe in and I am not going to back down easy," Jackson said determinedly. "I think anybody who knows me knows that."
Harrah was a good teacher and role model, according to Jackson.
"He definitely treats all of his students really well, he really is a good inspirational kind of role." Harrah also taught Jackson to play three different instruments, and formed the jazz and pep bands at the school.
The signatures on the petition come from just about every member of the Matoaca community.
"We have sports guys, we have the band guys, we have the really smart people, we have everybody on that list, we have parents on that list as well," Jackson relayed.
Some students say the incident wasn't an assault, but a misunderstanding. They told 8News that the band director placed his hand on the student's shoulder, and contact was accidentally made with the face.
The facts of the case will be hashed out in court on February 27. Stay with 8News for updates.
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