School corporation investigating fight at Clay High involving teacher
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A South Bend high school teacher was caught up in the middle of a fight that was caught on video.
The video is making its rounds on social media. You can see the teacher trying to break up the fight between two Clay High School girls. As the video plays out, you can see he struggles to break up the fight and it appears he made some swings himself. Now, he’s on administrative leave as the district investigates.
It’s unclear how the fight started but both parents and students said these things happen often.
“I’m told that [fights] happen often from my daughter,” Sara Aguilera said, a parent of a student at Clay High School.
The overwhelming majority of parents don’t think the teacher in the video did anything wrong and they’ve taken to social media to support the teacher they’ve identified as Mr. Mood.
“I don’t know exactly that he punched her,” Aguilera said. “Do I feel like there was unnecessary force? No. I mean it was obvious she was hitting him as well.”
Parents said that most days they’ve seen an officer on school grounds and a school resource office also roams the halls of Clay High.
“I felt like the teacher was in a position where he had to defend himself and the student,” Aguilera said. “He was trying to stop it and you could tell that he was trying to get in between the two of them and stop it.”
Students who know the girls involved in the fight said they’ve both been suspended. ABC57 also talked to one of the girls involved in the fight. Her father took to Facebook to share that he was clearly upset with the teacher.
However, the fate of the teacher is still unclear.
“I don’t think he should be fired,” Aguilera said. “I don’t think that he did anything wrong. I think it’s sad, I think it used to be if you were in a fight, a teacher would come and break it up and it was an unspoken rule you didn’t fight with teachers. This did not seem to stop it just seemed to escalate.”
The South Bend School Corporation released a statement calling the video shared “troubling” and condemning the behavior displayed by the students in the video.
The St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit is also investigating the incident. ABC57 has asked officials at the school corporation what protocol is when a fight breaks out and if the teacher involved followed that protocol before things got worse, but a response was not received.
Full statement from the South Bend School Corporation--
The video shared on social media was troubling and does not reflect the safe learning environment in our schools. Safety is our top priority; we do not condone violent behavior among students or staff. We are cooperating with law enforcement and conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and the actions of all involved. We have taken appropriate measures consistent with the student code of conduct. Pending the outcome of our investigation, the staff member involved has been placed on administrative leave.