Controversies

Texas school board fires teacher caught on video hitting student

This undated photo shows former Ozen High School math teacher Mary Hastings.

This undated photo shows former Ozen High School math teacher Mary Hastings.  (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

A Southeast Texas school board voted Tuesday to fire a high school teacher after a video surfaced showing her repeatedly striking a student. 

KFDM reported that the Beaumont school district board accepted its superintendent's recommendation and terminated 63-year-old Mary Hastings from her position as a geometry teacher at at Ozen High School.

Hastings was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after the video emerged. It shows a woman sweeping papers from the top of the student's desk, slapping him five times and scolding him for being a disruption.

Hastings, who had been with the Beaumont Independent School District for the past three years, been placed on leave at the time of her arrest for the April 8 incident. She remains free on $2,500 bond. 

One Ozen student told Fox4Beaumont that Hastings was a target for verbal abuse by students. 

"You know we only see 12 seconds of [the video],” the student said. “That’s all it is. It’s not the whole thing."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.