School Worker Suffers Broken Bones in Student Brawl

Maria Palacios said it'll likely take several more months before her daughter, Norma Harrison, is able to head back to work for PSJA ISD.

The parent-educator suffered a broken arm and rib during a fight April 9th at the Buell building in Pharr where the district houses at-risk students in the Disciplinary Alternative Program. The victim was injured after two students fought in the cafeteria. One of the females charged another student with such force the paraprofessional fell to the ground, according to administrators. "She was in a lot of pain... they pushed her down... she fell all the way... she flew," Palacios said. 17-year-old Stephanie Garza was arrested by a Pharr police officer and charged in connection with the fight. District spokesperson, Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez, said the incident could have happened anywhere, but maintained how the Alternative Program is one of the safest in the district. Some of the safety measures include half a dozen guards and a city police officer on duty at the building. "They are safe, they are trained, Vazquez-Hernandez said. They have enough personnel that are trained about handling that." A parent, whose son was sent to the DAP, said her 9th grader witnessed the fight. "I heard about it because my son was shaken up... he said that that had happened... it's just bad you have to be there... but it's 'til the end of the year," Lupita Garcia said. The victim's mother feels confident Norma was not targeted and supports her decision to one day return to work for the Program. "For some reason she loves to be there... this just happened and it wasn't against her... it was against somebody else," Palacios said. The district says additional action has been taken against the student and that Norma's peers look forward to her return.