A Texas teacher was arrested after video surfaced that apparently showed her repeatedly slapping and berating a student, calling the boy an “idiot” as she attacked him in class.
Mary Hastings was charged with assault shortly after video of the Friday incident “substantiated” an Ozen High School student’s claim, Beaumont Independent School District officials said.
Before striking the teenager, Hastings can be seen throwing papers that sat on his desk in an angry outburst.
“You’re stopping them from graduating,” she yells at the boy. “You idiot a**.”
Video showed Hastings hit the student five times before he finally asked “Why’d you hit me?”
After hitting the boy, Hastings contorted her face and mocked the student, leaving the classroom full of teens and the boy she hit laughing.
It was not immediately clear what led to the assault, but a student witness told KBMT-TV that the boy asked about his grade, prompting the incident that students said was uncharacteristic of Hastings.
“She was a cool teacher… She was always a laid back teacher and cool with the kids,” Atyra Deroune told the station.
Hastings faces one charge of assault and posted a $2,500 bail on Friday.
Hastings was immediately removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave pending action on her contract, BISD said in a statement.
“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 statement said.