By Craig Johnson
(HLN) — A school superintendent in Beaumont, Texas, told HLN Thursday that the district is investigating an incident in which a disagreement over favorite football teams led to an assistant teacher allegedly striking a student with his fist, knocking him out. The teacher has since been fired.
“The safety and security of our students is uppermost,” said Timothy Chargois, the superintendent of Beaumont Independent School District, in a written statement given to HLN.
Specific details are not being released, according to the superintendent.
The incident happened last week after a short exchange, in the hallway, between seventh-grader Reginald Wells and an assistant teacher at Willie Ray Smith Middle School in Beaumont.
Reginald Wells, 12, told KBMT and K-JAC that the whole thing started as an attempt at humor when he made a joke about the teacher’s favorite football team.
“All of a sudden, he just hit me in my shoulder. I looked up, like, what the heck?” Reginald told KBMT. He then pushed the teacher back in the shoulder, and then it happened: Reginald said he was struck by the teacher in the face.
“The last person’s voice I heard was some girls saying that I should call my mom, and then, he, like, hit me. And I blacked out,” he told KBMT in Beaumont.
Reginald told the station that he woke up in a few seconds. “My head, it was, like, pounding.”
Adrianne Wells, Reginald’s mother, said she heard about the incident from the principal, who recounted what another teacher — an eyewitness — said. “He said Reginald was punched in the shoulder, then hit twice and uppercut then (he) slid across the floor,” she told the station.
Wells said she was told the teacher was escorted off campus and fired, but she wants the teacher to be arrested.
“For you to let a teacher do that to him and just walk off — he’s fired — and walk off … I can’t accept that,” she told KBMT.
Reginald told the station the teacher had one explanation for his actions: “I can’t apologize for what I did, I was just having a bad day and I just snapped.”
Beaumont Police have referred all calls to the school district police.
The boy’s mother has filed a report with them, but claims she has not heard from them in about a week, reports KBMT.
The school district is not releasing the name of the teacher, according to spokeswoman Nakisha Myles.
“Dr. Chargois emphasized that any such actions by teachers against students are a serious breach of Beaumont Independent School District policy and will not be tolerated,” Myles added.
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