ST. PETER (AP) - The attorney for a Minnesota teacher accused of hitting a student in the head with a backpack says she's surprised the educator is facing a misdemeanor assault charge.

St. Peter High School science teacher Robert Shoemaker is accused of hitting the 17-year-old male student in the head with an 11-pound backpack in September. The student said he wasn't feeling well and was tired, so he had put his head down on his desk.

Shoemaker's attorney, Sarah MacGillis says the student apparently wasn't hurt because he went to football practice the same day and played in the school's game the following day. MacGillis says "people have been coming out of the woodwork" to support Shoemaker, who has been teaching at St. Peter High School for 25 years.