HOUSTON (CBS/KHOU) When their teacher backed one of their classmates into a corner, students at a Houston-area charter school thought it was a joke - but it allegedly turned into a shocking and brutal beating that was caught on tape.
Cell phone video of alleged beating at Houston-area school. (KHOU)
Sherri Davis, a science teacher at Jamie's House Charter School, allegedly backed 13-year-old Isaiah Johnson into a corner and began beating him while his classmates watched.
At the beginning of the video you can hear the laughter and applause from the students as Isaiah is backed into a corner by Davis after Isaiah reportedly teased a female classmate. But Janiqua Johnson, a student who shot the video on her cell phone, says Davis "snapped" and started beating the 13-year-old, according to CBS affiliate KHOU.
The teacher "just started beating him up," Janiqua Johnson told KHOU. "His behavior may have been bad but he didn't deserve that," Johnson said, referring to the teasing that preceded the alleged beating.
Davis was placed on administrative leave when school officials learned of the incident in late April, but was fired Monday when officials saw the video.
"It was horrifying," said Sue Jones, spokesperson for the school. "There's just no other word for that."
Janiqua Johnson and other witnesses told KHOU that four or five school employees were present in the classroom. The students claimed they felt intimidated by some teachers after the video became public.
The school is looking into allegations that other teachers watched the beat-down without stepping in, according to a school spokesperson, and said that it will punish any teachers found to have done that.
The Harris County Sheriff's Department is also investigating the incident, although a spokesperson declined to comment further.