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Texas substitute teacher fired after video showed she encouraged fighting in class, district says

The school district said the teacher outlined rules for the students to follow during the fight and instructed someone to monitor the door.
/ Source: TODAY

A substitute teacher in Mesquite, Texas, has been fired after an investigation revealed that she encouraged students to fight each other during class, the school district said Friday.

According to a statement from Mesquite Independent School District (MISD) to NBC News, the teacher outlined rules for students to follow during the fight and instructed a student to monitor the door while the physical altercations took place.

The fights occurred during class on Wednesday, April 12, and administrators learned of the video documenting the brawls on Thursday, April 13, according to the statement. Officials at Kimbrough Middle School started an “immediate investigation” and contacted parents that afternoon.

The substitute teacher had been employed at Kimbrough Middle School since March 6, the statement said, and is not eligible for rehiring. The district called her actions "appalling and intolerable."

Kimbrough Middle School.
Kimbrough Middle School.Google Maps

"As educators, our hearts are heavy knowing that an individual entrusted with the supervision and care of our students could behave in this manner, and we share the disgust that the families of students in this class must feel," the statement read. "MISD referred this matter to Mesquite Police to pursue possible criminal charges resulting from this former substitute’s reckless and irresponsible actions."

The Mesquite Police Department said in a statement that no arrest has been made as of Friday, but officials are aware of the incident. The department added that the case is still "actively being investigated."

The educator was not named in the statement. The Mesquite Education Association did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.

Speaking to NBC affiliate KXAS in Fort Worth, Texas, Beatriz Martinez, whose daughter recorded the fight, said she was "devastated."

“I was like, I couldn’t watch the full video,” Martinez said. “I had to stop it multiple times because I didn’t think it was real. I was like, 'This must be a prank. This is not real.'"

In a video from the classroom provided to KXAS and the school district, at least four students can be seen fighting each other one-on-one. During the fights, a timer can be heard going off. The substitute teacher can also be heard saying she "does not want this on record."

“There’s no explanation, she just wanted those kids to fight,” Martinez told the affiliate.

Martinez's daughter, who chose to remain anonymous to KXAS for fear of retaliation, told the station that the teacher also pushed the desks for the fight and that some students were bleeding when they left the classroom.

Since the fight, Martinez said her daughter has been getting threats from other students for recording and reporting the incident.

“I know my daughter. I know that she’s a sweet girl. And to just know that she’s getting death threats. I hate that,” she said.