A teacher at Ozen High School in Beaumont, Texas, has been charged with assault after a video circulated online of her hitting a student at his desk on Friday:
— boo✨ (@khay2you) April 8, 2016
The teacher in the video, 63-year-old Mary Hastings, can be seen hitting the student on the head and neck as he throws up an arm to protect himself. "Because you're stopping him from graduating, you idiot ass," she says. The student appears to ask why she hit him, and she responds by mimicking him in a mocking tone.
"He asked Ms.Hastings for the grade or whatever and she went awol and she picked up papers and threw it at him." Atyre Deroune, a sophomore student who was in the class during the attack, told local station 12 News Now, adding that the behavior seemed out of character for Hastings.
The school has placed Hastings on administrative leave, according to a statement released on Friday by the Beaumont Independent School District on Friday:
The Beaumont Independent School District can confirm that an Ozen High School teacher was arrested today for physically assaulting a student. The conduct was substantiated by video footage viewed by BISD police and administration. The District is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students. BISD does not condone employees abusing any child and will not tolerate such conduct. The teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave pending action on her contract.
The school's population is made up of 98% minority students, and 81% of the students are economically disadvantaged, according to The Washington Post.