IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – An Irving Independent School District math teacher has resigned, after video of a fight inside of his classroom went viral.
The 17-second video shot by a student at Crockett Middle School is hard for mother Cyndi Avila to watch. “I’m livid. I’m so angry. I could not believe that nothing was done to stop this,” she said.
Avila’s daughter, 12-year-old Grace Elliott, is one of the two students seen in the video. The 7th grader ends up on her back, and appears to try to shield her head as another student continues to strike her.
“She was just hitting me across the head,” Elliott explains.
All the while, kids around them chant “fight!”
Elliott says there was a teacher present in the classroom. You can just make out a man wearing a badge around his neck in the video.
“The teacher, Mr. Hickerson moves the chair. So [the other student] can move her down to the floor and she is just beating on my child,” Avila said emotionally.
Administrators with the Irving ISD say teacher Ehret Hickerson’s resignation was turned in and accepted Thursday morning. Lesley Weaver, the Director of Communications for Irving ISD, issued the following statement:
In Irving ISD, the safety and well being of students is our top priority. The behavior captured on video at Crockett Middle School on January 13 is unacceptable.
While privacy laws prevent us from sharing specific information about student discipline, it is the district’s practice to consistently apply consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct to any and all students who instigate or willingly participate in fights.
In addition, we expect all employees to maintain a safe learning environment for our students. The teacher assigned to the classroom captured on video no longer works for Irving ISD. The district accepted the teacher’s resignation early today.
In Irving ISD, it is our goal to always take necessary precautions to protect our students. If we are aware of anything that could be a threat to a child’s safety or well being, we will take immediate action. We encourage students and families to immediately report anything out of the ordinary.
The district says there is no particular policy detailing when a teacher should step in to break up a fight, but “teachers are expected to maintain order and use effective classroom management strategies to engage students in learning.”
Avila says a teacher from across the hall eventually stepped in to break up the fight. In the video, a woman’s voice can be heard coming from the doorway, just before the fight appears to come to an end.
“She just raised her voice and the fight stopped. There was no teacher that physically touched those two children. At any time [Mr. Hickerson] could have sat there and said ‘stop’ instead of watching them fight. He did nothing,” she explained.
CBS 11 reached out to Mr. Hickerson by phone for his side of the story. He said he had no comment.
The district could not discuss how the other student involved will be disciplined. Elliott has been suspended from the school for her role in the fight. Avila says, she will not be returning to Crockett Middle School after her suspension.
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