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TEACHER HURT BREAKING UP FIGHT IN SCHOOL

A South Buffalo teacher was in Buffalo General Hospital today after she was kicked and punched Monday while trying to break up a fight between two Lorraine Academy students, authorities said.

Beverly Piccillo, 43, of Amherst, whose condition was listed as fair, was kicked several times in the body and punched in the head by two 13-year-old boys who also kicked a second teacher, according to school officials.

Both youths have been suspended and face a superintendent's hearing, district officials said.

The fight started at 9:45 a.m. in a music class, said Rita Eisenbeis, school principal.

The music teacher was also kicked, but not seriously injured, when he tried to break up the fight. He summoned Ms. Piccillo because the boys were members of her special-education class, Mrs. Eisenbeis said.

"They were fighting because one of the boys was insulting the other boy's mother. The one boy said, 'your mamma.' That's all it takes," the principal said. "It's unfortunate for Dr. Piccillo. It's unfortunate that anyone has to come to work and worry about being injured."

Ms. Piccillo declined to comment.

The teacher, who was admitted to the hospital complaining of pain and numbness, had been knocked to the ground when she attempted to intervene, authorities said.

"What she was trying to do was prevent the boys from getting injured. One sustained a scratch that was taken care of with a bandage," Mrs. Eisenbeis said, noting that "positive" events at the school far outnumber incidents like Monday's.

Depending on the results of medical tests, Ms. Piccillo will then determine whether to pursue assault charges, school officials said.

Within the next five days, the youths will attend a superintendent's disciplinary hearing to determine how long they will be suspended.

"Based on testimony from the hearing, the superintendent will decide when they return to school," Mrs. Eisenbeis said.

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