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Texas Teacher Charged with Assault After Video Shows Her Slapping Student

Authorities arrested and charged a Texas high school geometry teacher with assault Friday, April 8, after a video surfaced of her on Twitter in which she appeared to repeatedly slap a student in the back of the head and called the teen names.

Ozen High School teacher Mary Hastings, 63, was arrested and charged on one count of assault, a misdemeanor, in connection with hitting the unidentified male student. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office booked her at the Jefferson County Jail where she posted a $2,500 bond and was released, the Beaumont Enterprise reported.

The incident came to light because of an apparent cellphone video taken in the classroom that was posted on Twitter. It shows Hastings smacking the back of the male student’s head numerous times while yelling at him about a disruption. She calls him an “idiot ass.” It sounds like the student asks her, “Why you did this?” The teacher responds, mocking him in restating his question. The student does not appear to be hurt. He looks to his right from his desk, smiling as the teacher make fun of him. She appears frustrated with this student. The nine second video, however, does not show what events occurred previously that lead up to this situation. The Beaumont Independent School District continues to investigate.

On Friday, Beaumont ISD confirmed the Ozen High School incident and Hastings’ arrest, saying she was taken into custody “for physically assaulting a student.”

According to a statement from Beaumont ISD Special Assistant to the Superintendent Nakisha Myles Burns, the teacher’s conduct was substantiated by video viewed by the district’s campus police and administrators.

The school district also issued a short statement on their website Friday stating it would not tolerate such misconduct. Hastings remains on administrative leave pending “action on her contract.” Beaumont ISD affirmed its commitment to keeping students in a “safe and secure environment.”

The complete Beaumont ISD statement reads:

“The Beaumont Independent School District can confirm that an Ozen High School teacher was arrested today for physically assaulting a student. The conduct was substantiated by video footage viewed by BISD police and administration. 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 teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave pending action on her contract.”

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.

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