Parents Divided Over Fight Between School Teacher And Student

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Video footage quickly went viral on social media after a fight was captured on camera at a Tennessee high school. The clip divided viewers and parents alike as a debate over who was at fault soon erupted. Some blamed a teacher who had engaged in the conflict, while others pointed the finger at his opponent. What do you think?

Trezevant High School
Trezevant High School in Memphis, Tennessee (Photo Credit: Google Maps)

Trezevant High School in Memphis, Tennessee, quickly became the focus of national headlines after a shocking fight between a high school teacher and a student was caught on video. Once the footage was posted to social media, it went viral as parents and viewers debated who was at fault for the physical confrontation that took place in the school cafeteria on a Tuesday afternoon.

In the footage, a teacher and student are seen getting in each other’s faces before the teacher, dressed in a purple shirt, shoves the student, who’s wearing a white tank top. According to The Blaze, the teacher is seen pushing the student away four times before all hell finally breaks loose when, after the fourth shove, the student squares up against the educator with his fists, escalating the situation.

The Trezevant High School teacher was captured on camera pushing the student out of his face four times before the “child” started throwing punches. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Rather than taking the hint and getting out of the teacher’s face, the student unleashes a flurry of punches on the teacher, who had just tried to push him away for a fourth time. Initially, the educator attempts to wrap his arms around the student, but he’s met with a barrage of fists. Finally, he retaliates, throwing punches of his own before other students reportedly joined the fight.

In all, Shelby County Commissioner Charlie Caswell Jr said as many as 50 people became involved in the school cafeteria clash before a police officer finally stepped in to break up the brawl, which is shown in the news report below.

Lakita Craft, the mother of the student who fought with the teacher, said the school staff should have done a better job of de-escalating the situation. As for her 16-year-old son, who was involved in the fight? He says he was simply reacting to the teacher pushing him.

“He was constantly pushing me, and I was telling him all of that force wasn’t needed, and I was still walking, and he was constantly pushing me,” Taquaviyon Craft alleged, according to Fox 13. “He pushed me again, and that’s when I got angry and fought back.”

Other parents with children who attend the school seemed to agree that the teacher was at fault for the physical altercation since the teacher pushed the student first. They defended Taquaviyon Craft, alleging that he was just reacting to the educator putting his hands on him.

“Everyone has to be held accountable. If the teacher puts hands on him first then of course the student is going to react” LaDarrel Young told reporters at the school. “Ain’t no student going to let anybody put their hand on them, whether it’s an adult or another child.”

Trezevant High School
During the brawl at Trezevant High School, the teacher attempted to wrap his arms around the student, but 16-year-old Taquaviyon Craft continued to throw punches. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Another student, who allegedly witnessed the fight but wished to remain anonymous, also sided with the student, saying he believed that the teacher was in the wrong, according to WREG. However, it is worth noting that the anonymous student was suspended from Trezevant High School because he had also participated in the fight.

“He pushed him, and he wasn’t supposed to get that aggressive with the student,” the anonymous student told the outlet, adding, “Teachers can’t touch students.”

It comes as no surprise that others strongly disagree, including another parent who alleges that the teacher did nothing wrong. Instead, they say the educator was defending himself from an aggressor, who was clearly getting in his face.

“The teacher should not be penalized for that,” the unnamed parent said. “You actually have to hold the people accountable who started the fight – that was the child.”

Trezevant High School
It was reported that as many as 50 people became involved in the clash at Trezevant High School before a police officer finally stepped in to break up the brawl. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

According to a statement from Memphis-Shelby County Schools, several students were detained for their involvement in the melee. The school district launched an investigation into the ugly incident, promising that appropriate disciplinary action would be taken. However, it seems the court of public opinion will remain divided in what’s likely a case of two — or three or four — wrongs don’t make a right.

What we can deduce from this situation is that everyone involved missed their opportunity to take a bad situation and make it better, including the parents who seem to think a “child” — in a man’s body — should be permitted to get in the face of a figure of authority and that person should take it. If the student’s punches were a reaction to being shoved, then the shoves were a reaction to having one’s space invaded. Both could have chosen to walk away, but neither of them did. Is that a problem with the teacher or the “child”?

As the police officer (far right) attempted to break up the bawl at Trezevant High School, other students quickly joined the fray. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

In order to attempt to answer that justly, I have to point out that we are facing an epidemic in which high school students, who are the size of adults, are getting brutally violent with teachers, slapping, punching, and even hospitalizing educators. So, at what point is a teacher allowed to fight back in self-defense? It’s a tough question. But perhaps a better one is, Why are we even letting it get to this point? Why are students brutalizing educators?

We are seeing a troubling trend in which younger generations seem to have no respect for their elders or authority. Everyone, whether “child” or adult, should be taught to resolve conflicts without resorting to physical violence and putting their hands on one another. However, you can’t invade someone’s space and expect them to not push you away. And, if you are a parent raising your kids to believe that they can do whatever they want because they are “children,” you are doing them a great disservice that might see them getting a taste of their own disrespectful and violent medicine in the form of self-defense.