HAYS COUNTY, Texas — A former substitute teacher faces an assault charge after she allegedly beat a student at a Texas high school on Friday, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office said.
The incident, which unfolded in a foreign language class at Lehman High School in Kyle, Texas, was captured by other students in cell phone videos that later circulated online. That footage shows the substitute teacher repeatedly punching the sophomore girl in the face before throwing her to the ground and stomping on her head.
Students alerted school officials and the teacher was immediately removed from the classroom, the Hays Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded, and after interviewing students and reviewing several videos, the teacher, identified as 32-year-old Tiffani Shadell Lankford, was arrested.
Lankford faces a charge of aggravated assault, the sheriff’s office said. She was booked in the Hays County Jail and appeared Saturday morning in court. She was read her charges and bond was set at $10,000, according to Hays County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Traeger.
Lankford was immediately fired, the school district said, adding that it was cooperating with the investigation.
“Under no circumstances is that behavior tolerated at Lehman High School or in Hays CISD,” Principal Karen Zuniga said in the school district’s statement. “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 had worked for Hays CISD since late August, the district said, and had worked in a classroom 17 times before this incident. The district noted that all substitute teachers are required to pass a criminal background check.
“There is absolutely no excuse or circumstance that can justify what you see unfold on the video,” Tim Savoy, a spokesman for Hays CISD said. “It is unconscionable what this adult did to one of our students.”
The student was taken to the hospital by her father, the sheriff’s office said.