A teacher in Florida is facing criminal charges of contributing to a minor’s delinquency regarding organized fights that allegedly occurred in her classroom.
According to a press release from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), Angel Drew Footman, 23, then a sixth-grade teacher at Griffin Middle School, allegedly permitted students to fight in her classroom during school hours.
A Tallahassee middle school teacher is accused of allowing her students to physically fight inside the classroom.
— Katie Kaplan (@KatieKaplanTV) April 10, 2023
“The fighters informed me that Footman asked them whether they wanted to have a ‘friendly fade’ before the fights began,” Leon County Sheriff’s Office detective Hanna Perry wrote.
“She made statements such as ’30 seconds, no screaming, no yelling, no phones,’ and she even asked two of the girls whether they wanted to come back during her 6th period planning period to ‘run it back’ (fight again),” Perry added.
Perry explained that Footman “stated outright that she knows she has poor classroom management skills.”
“The fighters informed me that Footman asked them whether they wanted to have a ‘friendly fade’ before the fights began,” a statement obtained by WCTV reportedly said.
Several parents saw video footage of the fights and reported it to school administrators. Students recorded the videos in Footman’s classroom. In them, Footman sits idly at her desk as students fight.
According to court documents acquired by the Miami Herald, four girls on camera said Footman preplanned and approved the fights.
School administrators identified Footman’s voice in the videos, telling students to “stop pulling hair” and break up the fights.
Footman told investigators she “did not organize any fights in any way, but failed to take quick action to stop the altercations or report them to administrators.” On April 7, 2023, she turned herself in to authorities at the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office
Authorities arrested Footman, booked her, and released her. They charged her with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to LCSO’s records. The charge could result in Footman’s imprisonment for a year. She will face arraignment on the charges in May 2023.
Although an archived copy of the school’s website from January 2023 includes Footman, Griffin Middle School’s site does not list her as part of the school’s faculty and staff.