A substitute teacher at an Idaho middle school was arrested late last month after he allegedly encouraged children in his classroom to fight while he and other students filmed the altercations.
Ettson Arreola, 20, was filling in for another teacher on January 26 when he allegedly encouraged two pairs of students to fight each other while he filmed. Video was shared on social media and brought to the attention of the Caldwell Police Department School Resource Officers. Detectives investigated and charged Arreola with four counts of injury to a child, one count of inciting a riot, and four counts of encouraging a minor to fight.
The investigation revealed that Arreola set a time and encouraged the students to fight while he filmed it.
“Mr. Arreola’s actions tear at the fabric of our community and are reprehensible. The video(s) is appalling, disturbing and unimaginable. This man was entrusted by his community to keep our children safe and provide academic education but he chose to facilitate a fight club in his classroom,” Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram said in a press release.
The students involved have not been named, but Brittany Gish told The Daily Wire that her daughter was one of the children who Arreola allegedly encouraged to fight another classmate. Gish also said Arreola stopped students from taking a test to ask them if there were any students in the class who didn’t like each other. He then allegedly offered to buy students McDonald’s if they didn’t tell anyone about the fights.
Gish said her daughter and another young girl were encouraged to fight, and her child suffered minor injuries, including bruised ribs and headaches.
Gish shared a video of the incident with The Daily Wire, which shows her daughter getting attacked by another girl while other students laugh. Since the incident, Gish said, her daughter has been harassed and bullied for allegedly being the one who got the substitute fired.
“It is every parent’s nightmare to learn that the person they trusted to keep their child safe is the one who caused harm,” Gish told The Daily Wire in an email. “The district had a responsibility to hire someone that my child was safe with, and they failed at that. Not only did she have to experience this bizarre outrageous behavior from the teacher, but now she has to deal with the harassment and bullying from other students.”
“She’s such a sweet loving girl and she’s been taking it really hard, having her peers make fun of her and put her down for getting beat up and for being a ‘snitch,’” Gish added.
Arreola has been prohibited from contacting any student involved in the incident or any student in the Caldwell School District, the police department said in its press release.
While she couldn’t point to any direct evidence of a connection, Gish said the attack on her daughter occurred less than two weeks after she and her daughter appeared on Fox News to criticize a new transgender bathroom policy in the district.