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'The teacher is no longer in the classroom' | SAISD fires veteran teacher after punching video surfaces

A veteran math teacher's career at the San Antonio Independent School District concluded after a video of her punching a student came to light.

SAN ANTONIO — Monique Thompson said she's been looking for an outcome for six weeks. But she had not heard a peep from the San Antonio Independent School District about a teacher who punched her nephew.

"No call from no one," Thompson said. "The principal. The school board. But yet I'll get a call if he's not listening in class."

Trevontae Thompson attends SAISD's S.J. Davis Middle School. He was thirteen at the time of the incident, and Thompson is one of his guardians.

"I'm still mad to this to this day. I'm still upset. Very upset," she said.

The incident happened in October in the classroom of a veteran math and algebra teacher. She taught 8th-grade students, according to the district. Eyewitness News is not releasing her name because there may be a criminal investigation into the matter.

"Why? Like, what did she hit him for? Like, it was no reason," Thompson said. 

Trevontae has a learning disability, and his comprehension level is that of a sixth-grader, his aunt said. So, he qualifies for protection and access under a 504 plan, and it guarantees specific federal shielding for people with disabilities. Punching is not part of the plan.

The ten-second cell phone video does not show what started the incident. It begins with Trevontae hitting near the teacher's elbow, and the educator punches him.

The student taps at the fist that struck him, and the teacher punches him three times. Trevontae is smiling, and he did not tell his guardians about the incident. 

According to Thompson, his smiling is a signature of who he is, not a problematic child. Smiling, she said, is what he does when he gets in trouble.

But, on December 7, someone Airdropped the video, and it started to spread. Thompson said she was furious when school officials contacted her.

"You're there to teach the kids to care for the kids. He's not a punching bag," she said.

To her amazement, she said a second video shows students assisting the teacher in punching her nephew. Thompson said the principal showed it to her, but Eyewitness News cannot verify the video's existence. The school would not release it to Thompson.

"And this video is of two young ladies chasing Trevontae to hold him so (The teacher) can hit him," she said. "They ended up pushing the desk to make him like, kind of stumble, stop them (The teacher) continues to punch him."  

The teen said his former teacher started hitting him as soon as he got in the classroom. He could not give a reason why. The middle school student did tell us he kept the incident to himself because his teacher asked him to, or she'd get fired. She was right.

The San Antonio Independent School District said that educator is no longer working for the district or in front of students:

"SAISD has investigated a video that has surfaced involving a student and a teacher at Davis Middle School. We have found that the action of one of our adults is unacceptable and does not align with our expectations as a professional educator. In SAISD, we stand by our commitment to ensure a safe learning environment for all students. We are extremely disappointed by this incident and want our community to know that the safety and security of our students will always be our utmost priority. The teacher is no longer in the classroom. Our Board of Trustees voted to propose the termination of her term contract on Dec 13, 2021."

The district said it also notified the TEA and the State Board of Education about the punching incident. They said it's up to the parents to pursue criminal charges.

Thompson said the teacher's termination was news to her, and she knew nothing of it until our news team told her.