An eighth-grade student was captured on video attacking his teacher in her classroom. The student, who was upset because the teacher took his phone, has been arrested and charged with a felony.
The incident happened, according to the MSN, at a Bowie Middle School in Odessa, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Other students videoed the Black teacher being beaten up and dragged down to the ground, by his or her classmate over the 14-year-old’s phone being confiscated.
The tussle was because he tried to take it back, going into the teacher’s desk to retrieve it.
As she tries to push him away, he overpowers her and then wrestles her with force to the ground. He never stops beating her, and at one point, repeatedly slams her head against a desk.
A representative for the Ector County Independent School District, Mike Adkins, confirmed the child’s detainment and his being hit with a count of aggravated assault of a public servant, which is a first-degree felony in Texas.
“This is shocking and terrible, and will not be tolerated,” Adkins said via a statement. “We have been dealing with fights and violence recently and want our community to know that behavior is unacceptable and we will do all we can to prevent it.”
“The student was arrested and charged with a first-degree felony and will also face disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct,” he continued.
“We have watched violence among children on the rise here, around the state, and across the country;” he continued. “We know our children are hurting and need us to address mental health challenges, while we also hold them accountable for their actions. Our district will continue to address these concerns with students and families.”
The incident came to the attention of the community and many school administrators after multiple videos of the altercation went viral on various Odessa Community Facebook pages.
Adkins said the students that shared the videos have also been disciplined. The type of reprimand is unclear, as ECISD officials are not authorized to detail the discipline of some of their students.
Though videotaping the encounter was problematic for the administration, students have been encouraged to notify adults if such a disturbance happens, the Odessa American reports.
While comments on the video reveal outrage from parents and other Odessa stakeholders, some people like the school’s superintendent believe this could possibly be a mental wellness alert.
FOX 8 reports Superintendent Scott Muri believes students need more tools to cope with their mental wellness.
“We do not have enough mental health resources to meet the needs of kids and families in this community,” said Muri. “We’ve brought in teletherapy, our kids now have access to therapists remotely. These therapists exist in other parts of our state. That is now an opportunity at ECISD, but even with that addition there still aren’t enough resources for kids and families.”
The young man is scheduled back in court Thursday, Sept. 22. He is attending a detention hearing; a service juveniles are entitled to go to every 10 days at the Ector County Youth Center.
The teacher in the incident suffered injuries and had not returned to school as of Monday, Sept. 12. There is no word on how bad her injuries are.