Video: Teacher Fights, Punches Student in Brawl

A brawl between a teacher and a student in a St. Louis middle school classroom was caught on cellphone video, which shows punches thrown, hair pulled, and young onlookers hooting and hollering amid the altercation.

What are the details?

The fight occurred Monday at Westview Middle School in St. Louis, the Kansas City Star reported, citing Riverview Gardens School District Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams.

The paper said the district didn’t identify the teacher or the student, adding that it’s unclear how the fight started. KTVI-TV reported that the staff member is wearing the red shirt.

The clip does show the pair on their feet before the teacher appears to place a leg behind the student’s leg, after which the student is brought to the floor. The teacher appears to punch the student several times.

“This incident was captured in a deeply disturbing video that is circulating on news and social media,” the district said in a letter to parents that McClatchy News obtained, according to the Star. “Riverview Gardens School District does not condone violence and takes violent behavior seriously.”

The district is investigating the incident and is “cooperating with local authorities,” the superintendent added to the paper.

Students ‘supposed’ to learn — not ‘have teachers put hands on them’

“This is shocking,” Karen Cummings told KTVI after viewing the video. “I’m like, ‘What led up to them having an altercation, and why wasn’t anybody in the room once they started hearing commotion?’”

The station said it’s unclear whether anyone will be disciplined.

“Kids are supposed to go to school to learn,” Cummings added to the station. “Not go to school and not have teachers put hands on them.”

Donta Madison also told KTVI it “was very disappointing to me to see an adult fighting that young girl. It’s unprofessional.”

Anything else?

The district released a statement and sent a letter to parents, the station said:

Dear Riverview Gardens School District parents,

A physical altercation occurred between an adult staff member and a student at Westview Middle School on Monday, December 5. This incident was captured in a deeply disturbing video that is circulating on news and social media. Riverview Gardens School District does not condone violence and takes violent behavior seriously. An investigation into this incident has been initiated in accordance with district policy and procedures. We ask the RGSD community for patience as we conduct a complete and thorough investigation into this matter.

Westview Middle School and District administration officials are cooperating with local authorities regarding this matter. Communication was shared with the staff and parents of Westview Middle School on Monday afternoon. In light of the magnitude of the incident, this information is now being shared Districtwide. Counseling services are available for affected students and staff. Any staff or students who would like to speak with a counselor can request services at the main office.

Riverview Gardens School District invites staff, scholars, parents and community members to attend the Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Westview Middle School to address the topic of school safety. RGSD is committed to working in partnership with community and District stakeholders to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff. We thank you for your support and commitment to educating scholars in the Riverview Gardens community.

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