Youngstown police say Life Skills teacher got into fist fight with student

Teacher Mark Vrooman, charged with assault, appeared in Youngstown Municipal Court on Tuesday

Mark Vrooman, a teacher at Life Skills in Youngstown, is charged with assault.
YOUNGSTOWN: Arrested May 15 - Mark Vrooman, charged with assault

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A teacher at the Life Skills alternative school in Youngstown was arrested Monday after a fight with a student.

Teacher Mark Vrooman, 39, was arrested at the school on assault charges and appeared in Youngstown Municipal Court on Tuesday morning.

According to a police report, Vrooman took a laptop computer away from a student. When the student approached Vrooman and asked for the computer back, Vrooman hit him in the face with it, the report said.

Vrooman and the student started to fight and Vrooman struck the student several times, causing cuts to his face, the report stated.

Police said they talked with other students in the room at the time and they all gave the same account of the chain of events. Investigators don’t know yet what led up to the altercation.

“I haven’t completed our investigation yet. We are just starting in. It seems a little extreme,” said Lt. Ramon Cox, Youngstown Police Department.

Police are not naming the victim, even though he is 18 years old.

The student refused treatment at the scene but was taken to the hospital by family.

Life Skills is an alternative high school for students who have fallen behind in a traditional school setting or are faced with barriers, according to the school’s website.

Administrators at the school hung up on WKBN when asked for a comment about the case. Vrooman also stormed out of the courtroom Tuesday, saying, “No comment,” after pleading not guilty to the assault charge.

Cox said altercations at schools are becoming more frequent. He said the department’s juvenile division is being inundated with school-related calls.

“It’s not one school, one set of students, one set of teachers, it is every day you are looking at the news and see somebody doing something,” Cox said.

Just recently, a preschool teacher at the Head Start program at Wilson school was photographed dragging a 4-year-old down the hallway. Police are also investigating that case.

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