Charlotte attorney Josh Van Kampen is building his case to help clear Anson County ESL teacher Patricia Frost of charges of assault.
Frost is accused of assaulting 18-year-old Anson High School senior Johnathan Smith in June. Smith told Charlotte news station WSOC-TV that Frost told him to pull up his baggy shorts and then followed him around the parking lot. According to Smith, the two exchanged words and she slapped him. Van Kampen says Frost slapped Smith in self-defense, after he slapped her first.
Both Frost and Smith have filed assault charges against each other.
Van Kampen has started a Facebook campaign to help support Frost and try to get her job back. She has been on administrative leave from Anson County Schools since the incident. She teaches English as a second language at Anson County Schools.
Before becoming an educator, Frost served for 24 years in the U.S. Army.
“Patricia Frost is a 24-year combat veteran,” Van Kampen said. “After she retired as a master command sergeant, she immediately went to work as an ESL teacher. She had an excellent record up until this incident, where she claims she acted in self-defense.”
Van Kampen’s firm has also started an online petition, titled “Superintendent Gregory A. Firn & Anson County Schools: Protect the Right to Self-Defense by Reinstating Patricia Frost as Teacher.” The petition had 307 signatures as of late Monday afternoon. To sign the petition, visit www.change.org/petitions/superintendent-gregory-a-firn-anson-county-schools-protect-the-right-to-self-defense-by-reinstating-patricia-frost-as-teacher, or “like” the Facebook page, “Support Pat Frost.”
Frost and Van Kampen met with Anson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Firn on Tuesday, and now await his decision on whether or not Frost can return to her job. Van Kampen said that Frost was questioned for more than an hour about what happened with Smith, and that Firn’s attorney denied his request to watch the surveillance video and allow Frost to narrate what had happened during the incident.
“I guess it’s easier to suspend and terminate a teacher in that situation than to justify retaining the teacher to the student’s parents,” Van Kampen said. “It appears the only way for a teacher to avoid suspension or termination when a student turns violent toward them is to allow themselves to be a punching bag until help arrives. Our teachers need to be able to defend themselves when they’re assaulted by students; we owe them at least that much.”
He added that if the school system moves forward with Frost’s dismissal, he will appeal the decision.