A Texas substitute teacher was fired after she allegedly "encouraged" in-class fights at the Mesquite middle school where she taught, school officials said Friday.
The educator, a substitute employed since early March, was terminated Thursday after the district discovered fights took place in her class at Kimbrough Middle School on Wednesday, Mesquite Independent School District said in a statement.
"Our investigation revealed that this substitute teacher encouraged students to fight each other during class, outlined rules for the students to follow and even instructed a student to monitor the classroom door while the fights took place," it said.
The district characterized the teacher's actions as "appalling and intolerable."
The educator has not been named. The Mesquite Education Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The district said it has referred the matter to the Mesquite Police Department, where a spokesperson said an investigation was underway.
No injuries were reported, but video and information from school parent Beatriz Martinez indicates the fighting was rough enough that some students left the classroom bleeding, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Video recorded by Martinez's daughter, a student in the class of 12- and 13-year-olds, helped bring the incidents to light, the station reported.
"I couldn’t watch the full video," the mother told the station. "I had to stop it multiple times because I didn’t think it was real."
The teacher's role allegedly went beyond the district's claim of laying down rules and assigning lookouts, Martinez said. The substitute rearranged desks to make room, she alleged.
The recording also captured the sound of a timer and a woman's voice declaring, "30 seconds," apparently a warning before a fight began, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Two fights, each pitting one student against another, were captured on video and audio, the station reported, with some students egging on others to participate in further rounds.
The incident came after a Florida teacher was charged Monday with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after allegedly facilitating classroom fights among girls at her Tallahassee middle school, according to court documents.
In Mesquite, roughly 20 miles east of downtown Dallas, Martinez was grateful her daughter was not drawn into a brawl despite taunting by some classmates.
"She was really saved by the bell," she told the station.