A Hays Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) substitute teacher was fired on Friday after video emerged that allegedly showed her violently attacking a teenage student in a classroom.
“The video shows Tiffani Shadell Lankford, 32, approaching the 15-year-old sophomore girl and then punching the student in the face,” KXAN reported. “The substitute then continues hitting the student as others look on in shock.”
Lehman High School Principal Karen Zuniga said in a statement to parents:
As a family, we share both the good news and bad news together. Today, I have to tell you about an incident that is disconcerting.
This afternoon, we fired one of our guest teachers for hitting and fighting with a student. Under no circumstance is that behavior tolerated at Lehman High School or in Hays CISD. Additionally, the former employee was arrested by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office and faces potential criminal charges. Her actions will also be reported to the Texas Education Agency.
We take the safety and security of our students seriously. We took swift action when this incident occurred and will do everything necessary to protect our students.”
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) November 8, 2019
In a statement obtained by KXAN, Zuniga added, “Under no circumstance is that behavior tolerated at Lehman High School or in Hays CISD. We take the safety and security of our students seriously. We took swift action when this incident occurred and will do everything necessary to protect our students.”
Lankford has reportedly been arrested by police officers from Hays County Sheriff’s Office and charged with aggravated assault.
CBS Austin reported: “The victim was taken to a local hospital by her father for evaluation. Lankford was transported to the Hays County Jail. The sheriff’s office said the victim is 15 years old. But a statement by the district says she is a 16-year-old sophomore.”
Students posted other videos of the incident on Twitter that CBS Austin reports were viewed by law enforcement officials.
— AZ 💋 (@ahhsuesena) November 8, 2019
Tim Savoy, chief communication officer for Hays CISD, said, “We are appalled at the actions of this former employee. There is absolutely no excuse or circumstance that can justify what you see unfold on the video. It is unconscionable what this adult did to one of our students.”
KVUE ABC noted that “according to Hays CISD, Lankford attended her teacher orientation on Aug. 30, 2019. Her first job with the district was on Sept. 13. Friday was her 18th time working for the district. All substitutes in the district are required to undergo and pass fingerprint criminal background checks in order to work in the classroom.”
The San Marcos Daily Record reported that the student “was released to her father who took her to a local hospital for evaluation and Lankford was transported to the Hays County Jail where she awaits magistration tomorrow morning.”
The incident reportedly happened in a foreign language class.