Viral video of assault leads to termination of teacher

Mary Hastings

The Beaumont Independent School District Board of Managers voted to support terminating Ozen High School teacher Mary Hastings on Tuesday, April 19, after a student-produced video surfaced that showed the educator hitting another student during classroom instruction. The video began circulating April 8, and it didn’t take long for the footage to go viral, ending up on media outlets throughout the nation. The same day, Hastings was removed from the classroom and subsequently arrested.

“The Beaumont Independent School District can confirm that an Ozen High School teacher was arrested … for physically assaulting a student,” BISD spokesperson Nakisha Burns said. “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.”

Hastings was arrested on one count of assault, and released a short time later on a $2,500 bond.

According to information from BISD, Hastings was placed on administrative leave immediately after the district learned of the incident. The governing Board of Managers voted unanimously to support the superintendent’s recommendation to propose termination of Hastings’ one-year term contract.