Mabton teacher faces assault charge

MABTON, Wash. MABTON, Wash. -- A teacher in Mabton is on administrative leave after a police investigation led to charges of assault for hitting a student.

On October 16th, an 8th grade student surprised the Mabton community when he claimed he was hit in the face by his well known teacher, Mr. Theodore Raihl.

Mr. Raihl has been a teacher in Mabton for 16 years, students say he's their 8th grade Social Studies teacher and most of the students KIMA spoke with were surprised to hear about the assault.

"When 8th grade came around like he was my best friend, I could trust him, I could go to him, I could talk to him, I thought he was a cool teacher," said Mia Herrera, a Mabton student.

But it was a different story from the victim's mother, who didn't want to go on camera, but said Mr. Raihl called her son a door knob and dumb, and told him that he would never graduate, all because he didn't know how to fill out a worksheet.

She said the assault occurred when her son responded to Mr. Raihl that he would graduate and prove him wrong.

Yet students I spoke with said the victim may have provoked his teacher by cursing at him.

They told me they're actually bullied by the victim themselves.

"I don't think he did it on purpose, if anything it was probably an accident and the kid took it to a whole other level," said Ivan Fonseca, Mabton student.

The victim's mother says her son doesn't feel safe at the school anymore, which has led him to stop participating in class as even the teachers treat him differently now.

Mr. Raihl has been placed on administrate leave and charged with 4th degree assault.

Sunnyside Municipal Court will have the final word in this teacher verse student case.

To get all sides, we also reached out to the Mabton School District for comment, but they didn't return our phone calls.