Florida teacher allegedly allowed students to fight in her classroom

Author: Gina Martinez / CBS
Published: Updated:
School classroom. Stock photo

A Florida middle school teacher was arrested for allegedly allowing her students to fight in her classroom, authorities said.

Angel Footman, a 23-year-old 6th-grade teacher at Tallahassee’s Griffin Middle School, is facing charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

On March 23, a Leon County Sheriff’s deputy received a report that Footman was allowing children to fight during school hours, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. School administrators were made aware of multiple incidents after parents found and reported videos of the fights, the release said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the videos showed three different fights that took place while Footman was present.

A detective that reviewed videos taken of the fights said Footman is seen sitting on her desk during the fights making no effort to intervene and could be heard telling students: “no screaming, no nothing” and to “stop pulling hair” as they fought one another, only breaking up the fight after it went on for a “brief period,” the affidavit said.

Several female students who were identified by detectives as partaking in the fights told investigators that the fights were not random, but rather pre-planned, the affidavit said. The students said that Footman asked them if they wanted to have “friendly fades” before their fights and gave the students instructions, including: “30 seconds, no screaming, no yelling, no phones.”

Footman even asked the students if they wanted to come back during her 6th period to “run it back” for a second round of fighting, the affidavit said.

Investigators determined that the students were actually called out of their classes to participate in the fights since they were not supposed to be in Footman’s classroom, according to the affidavit. Detectives said there is no record of Footman reporting the fights in her classroom to school administrators and when questioned she said “fights happened too fast for her to do anything,” the affidavit said.

Footman turned herself in on April 7 and was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the sheriff’s office. She was released from jail and ordered to abstain from alcohol and avoid contact with any of the alleged victims, according to court documents. She is scheduled to appear in court on May 4.

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