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UPDATE: Dogs Attack Students at Southeast Elementary School

Three first grade students were attacked by two dogs that escaped from the Mount Greenwood community at recess Tuesday, but were saved by two brave faculty members.

An ordinary Tuesday at recess could have turned into a disaster if it weren't for the bravery and quick actions of two faculty members at

When two dogs from the Mount Greenwood neighborhood escaped from their home, according to police, they made their way to the school at 9800 S. Francisco Ave. "(The owner) said his kid left the door open and they got out," said Mayor James Sexton to the Southtown Star.

Principal Shaton Wolverton said Melanie Senerchra, a teacher's aide and physical education teacher Joseph Santor immediately ran to help three kids who were being attacked by the dogs when they heard they were in danger.

"Joe just dropped everything and ran outside," said Wolverton, after he heard. According to the report, Santor kicked one of the dogs that had pinned a student to the ground, then sat on it to restrain it. According to police, Santor was bitten in the chest while struggling with the dog.

"Melanie lifted (a student) from the ground, and the dog had her by the pant leg," Wolverton said.

"Obviously this was a very scary  moment for all involved," said Kimberly Leonard, the mother of one of the students attacked. "I know the effects of a dog attack, and it could have ended worse if it were not for these teachers," she said.

Although no one was seriously injured, Santor did seek medical attention because of the dog bite.

Leonard, who serves on the District 124 board of education said, "I think this is a great story about the courage of these teachers, and they really put our children first, even if it could have hurt themselves."

Patch will update as information becomes available.

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