A former Waukegan high school teacher who punched a student in the face last week has been charged with aggravated battery, according to court records.
The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office filed five counts of aggravated battery against Lamont M. Bankston, 49, of Zion. On Tuesday, he was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and released on his own recognizance.
Bankston allegedly punched a 14-year-old student in the face on Oct. 25 at Jack Benny High School in Waukegan. The young man also suffered a broken finger in the quarrel.
Waukegan police arrested Bankston that day.
Bankston had been a long-term substitute at the school since the summer, but Waukegan School District 60 terminated his appointment the day of the incident and apologized to the youth.
The student and his mother met with members of the media on the night of the incident, and the young man said he did not provoke the teacher. The boy, who had a swollen black left eye, said he and another student were arguing and Bankston punched him in the face.
Later that night, the young man and his mother contacted the District 60 Board of Education, where the boy’s mother demanded stricter vetting of substitute teachers. At the meeting, board president Brandon Ewing suggested the district adopt a zero-tolerance policy.
“Either we’re going to have a zero-tolerance policy or we’re not going to,” Ewing said. “Either you can touch children or not. It doesn’t matter race, gender or ethnicity, we either have zero tolerance or we don’t.”