published Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Police: Knoxville student arrested after lighting teacher on fire

KNOXVILLE — A West High School student faces charges for allegedly trying to set his teacher’s shirt and hair on fire with a lighter during class Monday, police said.

The teacher, identified as 23-year-old Gabriela Penalba, had turned her back to the class when the 15-year-old boy assaulted her with the lighter, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

Other students in the classroom quickly helped extinguish the flames before they burned the teacher’s skin, he said.

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