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Teacher Pits Student Against Student in Fourth Grade Fight Club

By bethanysanders |

253675985_54d3a2ce99The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!

Actually, the first rule of Fight Club should be that you don’t ask two fourth graders to fight each other for your own viewing pleasure. Especially if you’re their teacher.

Joseph Gullotta and teaching assistant Abraham Fox locked their class of fourth grade students in their classroom last Thursday and told two students — 10-year-old Tomas Rivera and 9-year-old Justin Skokel — to have at it.

Tomas was ticked off with someone else, but rather than teach him how to resolve a conflict, Gullotta told him to take out his aggression on Skokel.

Both boys were injured, but Gullotta refused to let them visit the nurse until two hours later, and then told them to lie about what had happened.

The truth came out Thursday night when, while playing video games at home, Rivera complained to Skokel that not enough of the kids were cheering for him, reports Fox News. “He wasn’t going to snitch on his teacher,” the elder Rivera said of his son. “He really respected him.”

Turns out this isn’t the first time Gullotta has had trouble in the classroom. A year ago, he was accused of encouraging classmates to punch a student who was being unruly. “My teacher said if I got out of my seat, kids were allowed to punch me in my face,” Jovan Ortiz, 10, told the New York Daily News. Ortiz was punched twice in the stomach that day.

Both Gullotta and Fox have been charged with child endangerment. Fox has been suspended without pay, while Gullotta is awaiting his fate at a district reassignment center.

Photo: chefranden, Flickr

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