LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An explosive fight caught on camera Monday at Iroquois High School captured a female teacher and male student whaling on each other as kids ran from the classroom.
Jefferson County Public School officials confirmed the district launched an investigation into the fight, which occurred around 1:45 p.m. in an English class.
Officials said the altercation involved a teacher covering another faculty member’s room. Several sources confirmed to WDRB News the teacher involved in the fight as Carrie Adams. JCPS said Adams was not at school Tuesday.
The 14-year-old freshman involved in the fight told spoke exclusively to WDRB News on Tuesday along with his mother. Kamron Jennings said it started when the teacher asked him to put away his cellphone.
"She was like, 'Put your phone up.' And I said 'My phone is not bothering anybody. Why do I have to put it up?'" Jennings said. "She said 'It's bothering me.'"
Jennings described a foul-mouthed argument that ensued next with both him and the teacher calling each other the "B" word in front of the class.
"We just kept going back and forth, and she said 'I will throw you're little ass out this window,'" Jennings said. "She said 'Come here, and I'll do it' So that's when I walked up to her."
The video emerged on Facebook quickly after the altercation and has been viewed more than 150,000 times as of this reporting. The 30-second clip starts with Adams and Jennings squaring off nose to nose.
Warning: This video contains explicit language.
The teacher says, “You think I’m afraid of you,” to the male student. The student then appears to shove her backward.
The video next shows Adams fire back with a much more forceful push that knocks Jennings to the ground. Desks and chairs scatter.
“Get your f***ing hands off me,” she screams.
From there, the pair tussle around the classroom with the male student appearing to gain the upper hand in the fight. At one point, he appears to strike Adams repeatedly from behind, as several other students run from the classroom.
Jennings was arrested and released from Jefferson County Youth Detention Monday evening.
“These assaults are ridiculous,” JCPS Board member Linda Duncan said. “I don’t know what else I can say about our need for officers. We have board members tuning out the voice of principals.”
Monday's fight marked at least the third reported assault of a staff member here at Iroquois High School this month. JCPS Spokeswoman Renee Murphy confirmed there was no security on campus at the school when the fight occurred.
A recent split vote by the JCPS board eliminated all school resource officer positions. The district is trying to build its own security force. Murphy said the guard only responded after the fight ended.
"I'm very concerned. We're right now concerned about the school itself," Superintendent Marty Pollio said. "Obviously, we're investigating that situation and going to take action on that but also going to respond to the school as a whole and make some necessary adjustments in order to correct this."
Pollio would not comment further on the adjustments he intends to make.
"You don't attack a child like that," said Kenyatta Jennings, Kamron Jennings' mother. "Yes, he was wrong. He hit her, yes, and I got on him for that ... but there is a protocol they are supposed to follow when you are dealing with a disruptive student. Why didn't you follow your protocol?"
Students ran from the room in the midst of the chaos. Jennings claims in the tussle the teacher kneed him in the groin, and the fight ended with him walking to the office.
Jennings mother said the teacher should have been the adult in the room.
"There were plenty of times she could have left and or called for help," Kenyatta Jennings said. "There are phones in the classroom."
Kamon Jennings said he'd had many run-ins in the past with Adam, though none were violent. When asked whether he understood how wrong it was to hit a woman he replied with one word: "Yes."
Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said he was "sickened" when he saw the video of the fight.
"Regardless of the context, what we saw in that video should never happen in any Kentucky public school classroom," Lewis said. "There is never, never, under any circumstances is it OK for us to fight a student."
When questioned about whether the teacher should lose her job with JCPS over this incident Lewis said, "It's too early for that we have to let the investigation play itself out."
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