Wash. teacher won't be charged in student bullying case

Wash. teacher won't be charged in student bullying case
SEATTLE -- The Gig Harbor middle school teacher accused of bullying one of his students on camera will not be charged with a crime, according to Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Former Kopachuck middle school teacher John Rosi made national headlines in late August when shaky cell phone video surfaced that appeared to show Rosi bullying his own middle school student during a February 2 class.

The video shows a 13-year-old student screaming in pain as several kids taunt him and pin him underneath a number of chairs. Also involved was Rosi, who later said the incident was nothing more than "horseplay."

That opinion was not shared by Peninsula School District Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto, who called the episode "horrific" and suspended Rosi for 10 days.

At a September 6 school meeting, the boy's family said they were disgusted by what they saw as a lack of punishment for Rosi.

"To me it was bullying and degradation of his character," said Randal Kinney, the boy's father. "Watching those videos was so painful for our family."

Despite calls for legal action from several local parents, on Tuesday prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced Rosi would be charged.

"In the Prosecutor's Office, we seek justice," Lindquist said. "Sometimes justice requires vigorous prosecution of a case. Sometimes justice requires that we decline to prosecute. While this is unacceptable conduct in a classroom, it's not criminal conduct under the law."

According to the prosecutor's office, the boy and his family originally told school officials the incident "was all in fun" and the kids were "just playing around."

"The actions of (the teen) and his parents indicate that they did not believe a crime was committed as they did not report the matter to law enforcement. Only after consulting with a civil attorney, more than five months after the incident, was the matter reported to law enforcement," the prosecutor's office said in a Tuesday news release.