Every teacher in the U.S. gets frustrated with their students. But most of them know it’s not wise to vent their frustrations by slapping pupils in the back of the head.
That will get them arrested.
A geometry teacher in Texas apparently lost her cool, for reasons unknown, during class Friday and was filmed violently smacking a teenager. After the video was posted online, that woman, Mary Hastings, 63, was arrested, the Washington Post reported.
Some of her students have since spoken out about the incident. Surprisingly, some of them are backing up the Texas teacher.
The video begins with the incident already in progress. According to witnesses, the youth, who wasn’t named, asked about a grade.
Mary is seen swiping papers off his desk. Then she hurls an open palm at the teen, smacking him five times (according to one count) while hollering.
“Because you’re stopping him from graduating, you idiot a–!”
This woman was arrested for assaulting this young brother in class.
Mary Hastings. pic.twitter.com/iSrrBSSQes
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 10, 2016
When the attack was over, he asked, “Why you did that?” Hastings mocked him as the entire classroom began to howl. The student then smiled and giggled, the New York Daily News reported.
The Texas teacher was almost immediately removed from the classroom and arrested for assault. She is now on administrative leave with pay while an investigation is completed, Fox News reported.
She was swiftly released on bail after being arrested.
Hastings teaches geometry and the slapping incident took place in her fourth-period math class. She is described as a veteran teacher but has worked at Ozen High School in Beaumont, Texas, for three years. The city is home to 120,000 people and located 90 miles from Dallas, Texas. Ozen High has 1,100 pupils, the vast majority of which are minorities and poor.
Despite the attack, teens in that fourth-period math class said that the arrested Texas teacher was laid-back, “cool,” didn’t normally lose her temper, and wasn’t even very strict.
An unnamed teen called her “caring” and that she didn’t expect her to do “something like that to one of her students.”
Atyra Deroune said “she was a really cool teacher” and that Friday’s outburst was out of character.
“It was just that particular day. He asked Miss Hastings for the grade or whatever, and she went AWOL. She picked up a bucket of papers, threw it at him. But when she was ready to teach us, for us to learn, she got serious. But she was always laid-back… cool with the kids.”
— The Voice Newspaper (@TheVoiceNews) April 11, 2016
— Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) April 8, 2016
Another unnamed teen pointed out that they “do give her a hard time sometimes.” A witness pointed out that the video shows only 12 seconds of what happened and that “it’s not the whole thing.” The teacher is usually harassed by her pupils, who throw things and curse at her.
It’s not clear if that’s what instigated the incident Friday that got the Texas woman arrested.
The school district, which looked into the student’s claim and corroborated it with the video, confirmed the incident and that she was arrested 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.”
Alumni of Ozen High don’t speak very highly of the institution or its staff, the Post noted. One person called the school “the closest thing to jail. Violence, terrible teachers, insane gangs of students running wild.” Another said the “staff needs a little work” and should spend less time “harassing students (for) simple things” and “more time teaching.”
[Image via maroke/Shutterstock]