Public Safety

Iowa City junior high paraeducator accused of throwing punch at student

Both student and school employee face disorderly conduct charges

The Iowa City Community School District Headquarters in Iowa City. (Gazette file photo)
The Iowa City Community School District Headquarters in Iowa City. (Gazette file photo)

IOWA CITY — A paraeducator who still is employed by the Iowa City Community School District was accused of throwing a punch at a junior high student last month.

According to an Iowa City police criminal complaint, a student was in the lunch room about 12:13 p.m. Feb. 3 at South East Junior High, 2501 Bradford Drive, when the student took a cellphone belonging to another student.

Police said Timothy L. Hodges, 45, of North Liberty, was monitoring the lunch room and asked to retrieve the cellphone. Hodges told the student to go to the main office for discipline, police said, but the student refused.

Hodges and the student got into an argument that “involved threats of violence,” according to police records.

Authorities said a second paraeducator stepped in between the student and Hodges, who was then pushed by the student. Police said Hodges threw a punch at the student but the two were then separated.

Hodges has been a paraeducator at Southeast Junior High since 2004, school district spokeswoman Kristin Pedersen said. He also has coached several junior high boys’ and girls’ basketball and baseball teams.

Hodges faces one count of disorderly conduct — fighting or violent behavior, a simple misdemeanor. He signed a citation and agreed to appear in court March 12 for an initial appearance.

The student also was cited for disorderly conduct, police said.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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