A 13-year-old girl was arrested Wednesday for allegedly punching a staff member in the face at Journeys, a St. Paul Public Schools special education program for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.

The education assistant was not injured, a school district spokeswoman said, and was back at work Thursday.

According to a police report, officers were called to the school at 90 S. Western Av., about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on a report that a student had assaulted a staff member.

“A student punched a staff member in the face and was continuing to be aggressive toward staff,” the report read.

The girl was arrested and booked at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of fourth-degree assault, theft, disorderly conduct and terroristic threats, police said.

A school security guard who also was involved in the incident was not assaulted, said spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey.

The incident occurred as violence against staff members in the district took center stage in the wake of an attack that seriously injured a teacher at St. Paul Central High School last week.

That assault prompted a call by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers for improved safety and school climate throughout the district. On Tuesday, the union’s president called for state mediation, in part over concerns about teacher safety.

At a news conference earlier this week, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said student-on-staff violence has increased at an alarming rate in Ramsey County this year.

James Walsh