Skip to Content

Substitute Teacher Fights Student Who Called Him a Racial Slur; Students Demand Change

Substitute Teacher Fights Student Who Called Him a Racial Slur; Students Demand Change


On April 25, 2024, a substitute teacher allegedly got into a physical altercation with a high school student. The incident occurred at Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. In video footage of the incident, the student throws punches at the substitute teacher, who then throws several punches back at the student in the hallway, knocking him to the ground. The student tries to protect his face as the teacher stands over him, but then the teacher walks away. The entire incident unfolded in front of a large group of students.

As the teacher leaves the scene, a campus security monitor and a few students surround help to pick the student off the ground. The student is conscious, and as he stands up, he points at the teacher and says, “You’re going to jail [racial slur],” while laughing. 

Arrested on Several Charges

The teacher was arrested for battery with substantial bodily harm, assault of a school pupil on school property, interfering with a student from attending school and threatening to do bodily harm to a public school student. His bail was set at $9,000, and he was released the next day after appearing in court. “The student was also arrested on unspecified charges” after a hospital visit.

How it Started

The entire incident started when a student called the substitute teacher a racial slur in class. In response, the teacher asked him to leave. “The altercation turned physical when the student allegedly placed his hands on the teacher.” How the fight went from the classroom to the hallway is unclear. 

The school district stated: “Violence in any form is unacceptable and goes against the fundamental principles of education and respect. Any altercation between a teacher and a student is thoroughly investigated, and appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

The Students Support the Teacher

In response to the incident, students at the school started a GoFundMe page to cover the teacher’s legal expenses. They stated that he acted in self-defense and offered more details of the incident. 

“Mr. Smith had engaged in a physical altercation with another student who is of age (meaning he’s 18). During passing period Mr. Smith and the student were walking up the ramp. The 18-year-old student proceeds to call Mr. Smith (a black male) a racial slur (ngr). Moments after, Mr. Smith was called a racial slur. The student starts to swing on him causing a few slaps in the face and a ripped shirt. Then Mr. Smith starts to defend himself by punching the student multiple times till he is on the floor. Then Mr. Smith proceeds to say, “You lost your mind boy.” 

“There have been multiple racial incidents at this school, and there has been no action taken by any administration to stop it,” the GoFundMe caption also said. “It would be greatly appreciated if anyone could help donate for his bail because we as a community feel as if Mr. Smith should have justice and be supported, and his story should be heard.”

As of Friday night, the page had raised over $3,700 but it has now been taken down for unknown reasons. 

Protest for Change

A few days later, on May 1st, A group of students gathered off the Valley High School campus to rally for change from the school administration. They held signs that said, “Make a Difference,” “Protect our students,” and “Better funding!” The rally was planned in advance following an online petition that gathered more than 300 student signatures. The petition entitled “Make a Difference, protect Valley High School” alleges that the principal “has been keeping it quiet how students get sexually assaulted/harassed by a teacher and students.” It also says that students receive extreme punishments for small offenses, but major offenses, like harassment, are swept under the rug. 

The petition also points out that there is barely any funding for after-school activities and that, overall, the students do not feel safe at their school. “The administration tried to keep us shut from the truth and how much danger we are actually in instead of being in the safe environment she (the principal) says we are in!” 

Unfortunately, what happens at Valley High School isn’t out of the ordinary in terms of America’s high schools being unsafe places. 

Attention! Some of the links present in this article may be affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through the link, we might generate a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Additionally, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links. All of this revenue goes back into Teacher Misery and the mission of improving it and the lives of teachers everywhere. As always, thank you for all your support! :)))

Jane Morris

Jane Morris is the pen name of an ex-teacher who would really like to tell you more about herself but is worried awful administrators will come after her for spilling their dirty little secrets. Jane has taught English for over 15 years in a major American city. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from a well-known university and her M.A. in Writing and Literature from an even fancier (and more expensive) university. As a professional queen of commiseration turned published author, Jane’s foremost passion in life is to make people laugh through the tears.

She has written several highly acclaimed books unpacking the reality of teaching and life inside the school system. You can view her full library of works here.