A Florida middle school teacher is in hot water for allegedly hosting “Fight Club” style brawls during school, allowing girls to pummel each other in the classroom while she looked on from her desk, a shocking story that has made national headlines
Police arrested 23-year-old Angel Footman who teaches at Griffin Middle School in Tallahassee on Friday after several sixth-grade students alerted school officials about the violent activities that were taking place with her alleged sanctioning, also providing videos of the scuffles that took place in her classroom which at times doubled as a secretive fighting pit during school hours.
According to local news outlet WCTV, “several sixth-grade girls told detectives that they participated in planned fights during school hours and they allege they were invited back for additional fights. They also reported that Footman made statements including ’30 seconds, no screaming, no yelling, no phones,’ the outlet reported, citing court documents.
“A detective indicates in a probable cause affidavit that he reviewed videos and identified Footman sitting on her desk, failing to intervene, and making statements including ‘no screaming, no nothing’ and “stop pulling hair,'” the outlet reported. “The document also said no records of Footman reporting the fights to administrators were found.”
Footman was arrested on Friday after turning herself into the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office. She was booked into jail and released after a brief stay, and the teacher was charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“On Friday, Mach 23, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy at Griffin Middle School received a report regarding a 6th-grade teacher, who had allowed students to fight in her classroom during school hours. School administrators had also been made aware of the incidents after several parents reported and reported videos,” The Leon County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“The preliminary investigation identified the teacher as 23-year-old Angel Footman and found that several incidents took place on Thursday, March 22, and were recorded by students in her classroom,” the LCSO statement reads.
“It’s really scary. It makes me not want to put my child in that school,” Kirsti Henry whose daughter is a seventh grader at Griffin Middle School told local outlet WTXL, saying that her daughter told her about the fights that were taking place between students in the teacher’s classroom.
“Like what in the world is going on here? I posted it on Facebook and I’m like y’all need to check up on y’all kids because that’s crazy,” she said.
The school responded by firing Footman after conducting an internal investigation.
“From the outside looking in you can see that her action, or inaction, was just unacceptable at any place in a classroom in Leon County Schools,” said Public Information Officer Chris Petley, according to WCTV.
“It’s pretty rare for the superintendent to initiate termination immediately,” he added. “But that’s the action that we took, and just the follow-up action to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that any possible criminal charges were drawn up, and I think the reaction there speaks for itself.”
“We have amazing teachers here in Leon County Schools, and being a teacher at this day in age is hard,” Petley said. “Any time that you have a situation like this it negatively reflects them.”
There has been no disciplinary action taken against the students, according to Petley.
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