A Texas substitute teacher named Natally Garcia has been fired and is facing criminal charges after turning her middle school classroom for 12 and 13-year-olds into a fight club where she urged them to engage in bloody brawls.
(Video Credit: NBC DFW)
Garcia, 24, was referred to police by the school after the incident, according to an official with Mesquite Independent School District who spoke with the Daily Mail on Saturday.
The brutal and shocking scene played out on Wednesday at Kimbrough Middle School in Mesquite, which is on the outskirts of Dallas. It was partially recorded by a student on a cell phone video which was obtained by KXAS-TV.
In the disturbing video, the classroom’s desks were pushed into a circle to create a “fight ring” for the students. Pairs of 12 and 13-year-olds fought and bloodied one another as the teacher watched. She told students not to film the fights, telling them “I do not want this on record.”
“Our investigation revealed that this substitute teacher encouraged students to fight each other during class, outlined rules for the students to follow, and even instructed a student to monitor the classroom door while the fights took place,” the school district said in a statement.
Texas substitute teacher is fired for turning middle school classroom into a fight club https://t.co/2ESL5GcQH7 pic.twitter.com/i4Xs9oHG8B
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) April 15, 2023
Mesquite ISD confirmed that it had fired the teacher in a statement. After referring Garcia for a criminal investigation by the police, a statement was released saying, “Her actions are appalling and intolerable.”
Investigators were made aware of the incident according to a spokesperson for the Mesquite Police Department who spoke with the Daily Mail.
“At this time no arrest has been made, but the case is still actively being investigated,” the spokesperson commented.
Beatriz Martinez, whose daughter recorded the fight, told the local NBC affiliate, “I was devastated. I was like, I couldn’t watch the full video. 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.”
Some of the students reportedly left the classroom bloodied and battered according to Martinez’s daughter. It is unknown if there were any serious injuries due to the brawls.
“Who in their right mind? Because I trust my child to go to school, but I also trust the staff to keep my kids safe. And then this lady, she just is actually making them fight,” an outraged Martinez remarked.
The portion of the video that is available shows at least two pairs of students fighting in the ring. A timer can be heard going off at points during the fights, with the teacher calling out “30 seconds” before one fight began.
Martinez’s daughter was afraid she would be made to fight. Students called out names of others they wanted to see be put in the ring. She claimed she was “saved by the bell” as the period ended.
“The teacher involved was a substitute teacher employed by Mesquite ISD since March 6,” Mesquite ISD announced in a statement. “As of yesterday, she is no longer employed by the district and is not eligible for rehire in any capacity.”
On Thursday, the district stated, “Campus administrators personally contacted all parents of the students in the class by phone to inform them of the situation and the school’s swift response. 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.”
“MISD referred this matter to Mesquite Police to pursue possible criminal charges resulting from this former substitute’s reckless and irresponsible actions,” the statement concluded.
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