School investigates video that may show teacher striking student

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ATLANTA —

Video taken of a fight at an Atlanta High School appears to show a teacher punching one of the freshman girls involved in the altercation.

Someone used their cellphone to record a fight between two freshman girls at Benjamin E. Hays High School on Monday.

“Fighting over a boy, from what I was told,” the mother of one of the girls, Shontrice Dew, said.

Dew said she is not happy with her daughter’s behavior, but the recording forced her to speak out.

“It makes me want to cry,” Dew said.

A teacher who came to break up the fight appears to start punching Dew’s daughter.

“I see the video and my heart just kind of sinks, like, into the bottom of my stomach to see a grown man abusing my child, it was awful,” Dew said. “And it took other football players and other students to come over and grab her from him.”

School officials said the girl bit the teacher, prompting him to react by hitting her in self-defense.

“He hit her, like, six or seven times,” Dew said.

Both girls have been suspended. Dew said her daughter is facing assault charges and may be sent to an alternative school. Meanwhile, the teacher involved has been removed from the school for now.

“Student safety is our top priority. We are reviewing the footage and will take the appropriate action after we complete our investigation,” a school spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News.

Dew said she has her own questions for the teacher.

“What was your mindset? What were you thinking at that time, like what was really going through your mind while you were hitting her?” Dew said.

Dew said her daughter deserves an apology from the school and especially the teacher.

Both girls will face a disciplinary hearing on Monday.