Texas substitute teacher charged after video shows her assaulting student

Credit: Hays County Jail

Credit: Hays County Jail

A substitute teacher at a Texas high school is accused of repeatedly punching a 15-year-old student, throwing her to the ground and stomping on her head, authorities said.

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The incident Friday at Lehman High School in Kyle was caught on a cellphone video, and the lawyer for the girl said she suffered a brain injury from the attack, KXAN reported.

Tiffani Shadell Lankford, 32, was arrested and charged with second-degree felony aggravated assault, according to KTVT. She was arrested Friday by the Hays County Sheriff Office, several hours after the incident at the school, located 22 miles southwest of Austin, The New York Times reported.

Lankford was released from jail Saturday on a $10,000 bond, KXAN reported. Hays Consolidated Independent School District officials told the television station Lankford has been fired. The district refers to substitutes as "guest teachers," the Times reported.

Attorney Paul Batrice told KXAN the girl will meet with a neurologist, a neuropsychologist and a trauma specialist on Monday.

“The child is currently being treated for the severe injuries she sustained from this attack, and her family and loved ones are close by,” Batrice said in a statement.

School district spokesman Tim Savoy said the incident occurred at 3:45 p.m. during a Spanish class, the Times reported. Lankford had been a substitute 18 times since joining the district in late August, the newspaper reported.

Several cellphone videos of the incident were recorded by students. In one video, which was posted on social media, a teacher, identified as Lankford by the Hays County Sheriff's Office, is shown punching a student three times before grabbing her by the shoulders and tossing her to the ground. The student, lying facedown on the floor, was stomped by the teacher, according to the video.

Savoy said he did not know what sparked the incident, the Times reported.

"We take the safety and security of our students seriously," Lehman Principal Karen Zuniga wrote in a letter posted Friday on Facebook. "We took swift action when this incident occurred and will do everything necessary to protect our students."

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