Teacher fired after encouraging class to punch 5-year-old

(NBC) – A teacher has been fired from her position at a Texas private school after allegedly encouraging kindergarten students to punch one of their classmates in the face.

The problems started when Devarius Williams, 5, and other children from the Robindell Private School took a field trip to a restaurant in Sugar Land last week.

Devarius' parents said he got into a fight. Devarius' mother, Barbara Mobley, said the teacher had her own idea of discipline.

"The teacher that was driving his particular van got him and his group together and said, 'When we get on the van, I want everybody to punch Devarius in the face because he punched the little girl in the face,'" Mobley said.

Mobley estimated that at least a dozen children hit her son.

"As each child got on the bus, she said 'go,'" Mobley said. "They punched my son and went and sat down."

"It was a big mistake. She should have never done it," said Robindell's director and part-owner, Chuck Wall.

Wall said he quickly investigated and the teacher was fired within 30 minutes of the complaint.

"It was a very, very good teacher that we fired," Wall said. "She had been with me for six or seven years now; was one of my best pre-K teachers who had a moment of weakness, out of frustration, and dealing with a child she's had a problem with over the last several months."

The state said the school is supposed to report incidents within two days. A Department of Family and Protective Services representative said there were two reports filed.

Robindell's director said he did not file a report because he did not believe the child was hurt. Devarius' mother said the punches could have ended her child's life because of major health problems.

"You're dealing with a child that has a severe medical condition that any blow to his head could cost this baby his life," said community activist, Qaunell X. "We're absolutely angry and appalled by the behavior of the director of this school. We're calling on the director of the state regulatory agency that regulates this specific school to shut it down."

"We're going to have humans here who make mistakes. If we tried to sweep this under the rug or not do something with this teacher, then I could see his point," Wall countered.

The state is investigating.  It has 30 days to complete its report.

Mobley said she has removed Devarius and her other children from the school.

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