HOUSTON -- A north Harris County charter school is investigating whether more school employees witnessed a teacher beating a 13-year-old student.
The incident was captured by another student's cell phone camera in late April at Jamie's House Charter School, located on 17406 Bamwood Dr.
The cell phone video begins with 13-year-old Isaiah Johnson backed into a corner by his teacher, 40-year-old Sheri Lynn Davis. Laughter and applause can be heard in the background.
But what students thought was a joke quickly turned ugly.
"(The teacher) just started beating him up,” said classmate Janiqua Johnson, who shot the video on her cell phone. She said Isaiah had been making fun of another in girl in class when the teacher snapped.
“His behavior may have been bad but he didn’t deserve that,” Johnson said.
Davis was a science instructor who had worked at the school for the past three years. She had been placed on administrative leave when school officials learned of the incident. When they saw the video this week, she was fired.
"It was horrifying," said Sue Jones, spokesperson for the school. "There's just no other word for that."
The school's principal, David Jones, sent a letter home with students Wednesday.
"Educators are entrusted by parents with their children every day and we have a responsibility to see that they are not only taught but treated with respect," he wrote. "This incident violates every principle by which we operate Jamie’s House Charter School and we will continue to work hard to earn your confidence in us."
The school is investigating whether more school employees saw the incident and didn't report it.
Janiqua Johnson and other witnesses told 11 News that four or five school employees were present in the classroom. The students claimed they felt intimidated by some teachers after the video became public.
The Harris County Sheriff's Department is also investigating the incident, although a spokesperson declined to comment further.