Viral Video Shows Brutal Studen-Teacher Fight at Memphis School

A recording of a physical fight between a teacher and student in Tennessee has gone viral online. The incident unfolded in the cafeteria of Trezevant High School in Memphis and started with a shouting match that quickly descended into violence. The teacher appears to initiate physical aggression by shoving the 16-year-old student, who responds with several punches. Police officers eventually broke up the fight after several other pupils became involved.

Shelby County Commissioner Charlie Caswell Jr. said around 50 people entered the fray as the incident spun out of control.

The student later told local media that throwing punches was a response to provocation because the teacher “was constantly pushing me.” Lakita Craft, the teenager’s mother, blamed the school and said staff should have de-escalated the situation rather than engaging in fist fights. Some students agreed with Craft and described the teacher as aggressive and highly inappropriate.

Other opinions were mixed. Some blamed the teenager, but others said teachers are responsible for avoiding such confrontations. “Teachers can’t touch students,” one parent said.

According to a New York Post report in mid-April, violence in schools, often between kids and teachers, has doubled since facilities reopened at the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The report notes several instances of violence against teachers, including a recent incident in North Carolina when a student approached a teacher and slapped her across the face.

Daniel Buck, author and former English teacher, said the problem comes down to lack of discipline as a politically progressive view that adult authority is “oppressive” takes hold in US schools. Buck advocates imposing punishments for minor infractions to avoid escalation and set an example that rule-breaking won’t be tolerated. “If a child receives a suspension for talking back, it communicates to his peers that rules have been and will be enforced,” he said.

A 2022 survey found that one-third of American teachers had been threatened with violence, while 14% had been physically attacked.