A high school teacher has reportedly been arrested after a video was widely circulated on social media, purportedly showing him growling and wrestling a student to the ground while in a Halloween costume.
Administrators at McClatchy High School in Sacramento, California, US, were forced to remove English teacher David Fritz, 58, from class and called law enforcement after the seven-second video was brought to their attention.
In the clip - filmed on another student’s mobile phone - the class of 11th-graders can be heard screaming and nervously laughing as the teacher tackles 15-year-old David Garcia out of his seat and to the ground while appearing to grab the boy’s phone from him.
According to local news site, The Sacramento Bee, Garcia described how Fritz - who has been with the school for 20 years - originally entered the class singing and dancing, but then began to curse and yell. The student added how the teacher approached him for no known reason and pulled him from his desk.
Garcia told the site he laughed initially, but then told Fritz to stop. After the incident, the student added how Fritz then began teaching with no explanation of his actions.
The teacher was arrested by police on suspicion of willful cruelty toward a child and both administrators and police added there were signs the teacher may have been drunk at the time. In a mugshot released online by the Sacramento Police Department, Fritz can be seen with black and white paint still on his face. He was released on Friday night.
The school’s district released a statement describing the incident as ‘alarming’, adding: “Any type of behavior like this, regardless of the intent, is unacceptable. The district will investigate this matter fully and will continue to take every possible measure within our authority to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.”
This incident has come just days after two other similar school incidents in the US were caught on video. One showed a white police officer appear to violently slam a black female student to the ground and drag her across the classroom at South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School. The other showed a group of students at Florin High School - also in Sacramento - shove their principal as he tried to break up a fight.
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