Natally Garcia, Mesquite, Texas substitute teacher at Kimbrough Middle School fired for turning classroom into fight club involving 12 and 13 year old girls. Criminal investigation launched.
A substitute teacher at a Texas middle school has been fired after it was revealed she turned a recent classroom into a makeshift fight club encouraged students to brawl each other.
The substitute, 24-year-old Natally Garcia, was immediately fired and now faces a criminal investigation following the incident.
The incident unfolded on Wednesday at Kimbrough Middle School in Mesquite, on the outskirts of Dallas, and was partially captured on cell phone video obtained by KXAS-TV.
Footage shows desks pushed into a circle to create a ‘fight ring’ as pairs of 12- and 13-year-old students brawl and the substitute looks on while admonishing the class not to film, saying ‘I do not want this on record.’ At the same time, other students are told by the educator to ‘watch the door’.
Revelations of the episode led to Mesquite ISD school district launching an investigation and firing the teacher days later.
‘I couldn’t watch the full video.’
‘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, the school district confirmed that it had fired the substitute teacher and referred the matter to police for a criminal investigation, saying: ‘Her actions are appalling and intolerable.’
An active criminal investigation is now underway. To date it remained what charges, if any, could be launched against the educator.
Beatriz Martinez, whose daughter recorded the incident, told KXAS: ‘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,’ the mother added.
Some students left the classroom bloodied, Martinez said her daughter reported, though it’s unclear whether there were any serious injuries in 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,’ Martinez said.
30 second timer in between fights
Martinez said her daughter was being antagonized to fight three girls during the incident, as some called out names of students to fight each other. The fights concluded when the bell rang.
‘She was really saved by the bell,’ Martinez said.
Video of the incident shows at least two pairs of students placed into the makeshift fight ring to brawl in one-on-one combat.
In the video, a total of at least four students are seen fighting each other in two sets of one-on-one fights. It’s unknown how many students engaged in fighting. A timer can be heard going off at points during the fights, with the teacher calling out ’30 seconds’ before one fight began.
The district said that on Thursday, ‘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,’ the district said.
Police to review whether charges are warranted
‘MISD referred this matter to Mesquite Police to pursue possible criminal charges resulting from this former substitute’s reckless and irresponsible actions.’
It is not the first time school officials have been accused of encouraging or allowing student fight clubs.
In 2018, another video emerged showing a substitute teacher in a Connecticut high school egging on his students as they punched each other in a ‘fight club’-style brawl.
The substitute teacher in that case was criminally charged, but was granted pre-trial diversion by a judge, allowing the charges to be dismissed with successful completion of probation.
Charges were also filed against the school superintendent and principal, alleging they knew of the ‘fight club’ but didn’t report it to police. Those charges were later dropped.