A former Connecticut teacher claimed that he started a fight club at school in order to “befriend” his students, according to police documents.
Ryan Fish, 23, a former substitute teacher at Montville High School, explained to the court that he started a fight club in order to “befriend” his students, according to NBC Connecticut. Fish is charged with four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of risk of injury to a child, and a breach of peace.
Fish, who was 22 at the time, was fired Oct. 10 after school officials saw cellphone videos about the “fight club.” The videos showed Fish encouraging students to fight, yelling “one, two, three” to start the fights, the Hartford Courant reported. A video even captured a student throwing up as a result of the traumatic incidents. Four fights took place from September to October.
The principal asked Fish about the violent incidents, and he responded “boys will be boys,” according to the warrant.
“As soon as we learned of his involvement in this, we immediately terminated his employment. Student safety is our highest priority each and every day. We believe our staff does a great job of protecting the safety of our students each and every day. This situation was very unfortunate, but not indicative of our regular operations,” according to a statement by superintendent Brian Levesque said.
The Department of Children and Families then started an investigation into Fish’s behavior in December, after a 15-year-old boy was traumatized. The teen complained to social workers that he was robbed and beaten by other students during the fights, according to police.
“The truth is, I’m an idiot and wanted to befriend them,” Fish told the investigators. He also said that starting the fights was a kind of “social thing” in order to work through the issues, according to an arrest warrant.
Fish was charged with a $75,000 bond. However, he was later released with the promise to appear at court. The former teacher will appear at court May 8, according to the Hartford Courant.