Anoka-Hennepin School District officials have agreed to an independent investigation into an incident in which a Champlin Park High School teacher is accused of choking a student while breaking up a fight in the classroom.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the school board gave the go-ahead to the superintendent to seek the outside investigation. Details about when it will begin and who will conduct it have not yet been decided, said Mary Olson, district spokeswoman.

Though the school’s investigating team has interviewed several students who witnessed the incident, two dozen members of the Somali community demanded the outside investigation. They said industrial arts teacher Joe Hall choked the ninth-grade Somali student in the May 3 incident. At least two videos, apparently taken from student cellphones, were posted on YouTube.

Hall said he was breaking up a fight that erupted in his classroom to ensure “student safety and security.”

Mary Lynn Smith