A 24-year-old substitute teacher in Texas was arrested after she was caught on camera encouraging students to fight inside her classroom, authorities said Monday.
Natally Garcia is facing four counts of endangering a child after investigators reviewed video of the alleged incident at Kimbrough Middle School in Mesquite, Texas, on April 12 and determined that she put four students in danger of bodily injury, the Mesquite Police Department said.
Garcia allegedly made rules and space for the 12 and 13-year-olds to fight in the classroom while telling other students to guard the door, FOX4 Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
“Definitely trying to conceal her actions and actions that were going on in the class,” said police Lt. Brandon Ricketts told the station.
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At least four students were seen fighting in the video, according to the outlet. The teacher called out “30 seconds” before one of the fights began, and a timer was heard going off at various times while the fights were taking place.
Betty Martinez, the mother of a student who she says was frightened and secretly recorded the fight, told the outlet that she was in “utter disbelief” after seeing the video.
“I thought it was a joke,” she said. “I didn’t think it was real. My brain couldn’t comprehend what was going on, right?”
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Mesquite Independent School District told the outlet that the substitute teacher was fired and was only with the school for about a month.
“Her actions are appalling and intolerable,” the school district said in a statement. “We share the disgust that the families of students in this class must feel.”
Meanwhile, Martinez said other students have threatened her daughter for recording video of the fights.
FOX News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.
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