Newport News teachers disagree with district’s account of Gildersleeve fight

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Teachers at a Newport News middle school disagree with the school district’s statement detailing a fight at Gildersleeve that took place earlier this month.

Multiple teachers reached out to 10 On Your Side after watching our report Tuesday night.

We also obtained a copy of a video that was shown to students the day after the Nov. 1 fight.

“The truth needs to come out,” said a Gildersleeve teacher who wished to remain anonymous.

Following Tuesday’s school board meeting, a Newport News Public Schools spokesperson told 10 On Your Side two students got into an altercation on Nov. 1. They also said a school administrator was injured after slipping and falling onto the ground after the student fight — his injury unrelated to the incident.

“I saw it with my own eyes and the statement issued by Newport News Public Schools is 100% inaccurate and an actual outright lie. The assistant principal, both assistant principals get shoved by a student, the same student, and I watched our assistant principal hit the wall and hit the ground and not get back up. An ambulance was called. They were taken out on a stretcher. They missed a week of work,” the teacher explained.

A student was ultimately restrained and removed from the building. A problem, the teacher says, is only getting worse.

“It’s happening every week and I don’t see it getting any better,” the teacher stated.

10 On Your Side recently obtained a copy of a video recorded by the school’s principal Janelle Spitz addressing students about the incident the following day on Nov. 2.

“People have got to start making better choices. Not only are they dangerous, they are disruptive to the learning environment and the students that engaged in this behavior on Monday, that led to one of our staff members being injured, they will be receiving severe consequences for this according to our rights and responsibilities handbook. We cannot risk people getting injured at our school,” said Spitz.

10 On Your Side requested a copy of the surveillance video the day of the fight. We are waiting for a response.

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