Florida middle school math teacher is fired after he put students in chokeholds and gave them cruel nicknames like ‘four-eyes,’ ‘Oompa Loompa’ and ‘Beavis’
- Victor Lopez, 49, of Boynton Beach, was fired on Wednesday after an investigation found he had behaved ‘inappropriately’ with 16 students
- He allegedly flicked and shoved students, putting them into chokeholds, and called them names
- He started at Loggers’ Run Middle School in September and has worked for the district for 16 years
- Lopez told an HR manager that the only thing he ‘should be questioned on is my sarcasm’ and that he made the conscious effort to make sure ‘students felt safe’
- The teacher did admit to investigators that he used yardsticks against students, but claimed he only ‘tapped’ them, not hurt them
- He also reportedly grabbed a female student forcibly by the back of the neck when she choose to use a bathroom farther away from the classroom
A Florida middle school math teacher was fired after he grabbed students in chokeholds and giving them cruel nicknames, such as ‘four-eyes,’ ‘Oompa Loompa,’ and ‘Beavis.’
Victor Lopez, 49, of Boynton Beach, was fired from Loggers’ Run Middle School on Wednesday after an investigation found he had behaved ‘inappropriately’ with 16 students.
Twelve of the 16 students reported he had engaged in inappropriate physical contact, WPTV reported. Eight out of the 16 students were also reportedly receiving end of inappropriate comments or jokes they didn’t find funny.
The teacher started at the school in September.
Lopez – who has worked for the district for 16 years without incident – has been put on an unpaid suspension and will be officially terminated on October 18 if he doesn’t appeal in writing.
The investigation started around September 1 after a student complained to his mother that Lopez had pulled his ear in class in late August, according to The Palm Beach Post.
He also reportedly showed his mother a video of Lopez hitting the student in the arm with a yardstick, the Post reported.
Within days of reporting the incident, the school police were able to identify three other victims who had been hit with a yardstick by Lopez.
Victor Lopez, 49, of Boynton Beach, was fired on Wednesday after an investigation found he had behaved ‘inappropriately’ with 16 students by flicking and shoving them, putting them into chokeholds, and calling them names. He has worked in the school district for 16 years
He allegedly called many students cruel names, including Four-Eyes, Oompa Loompas, Beavis, Oprah, and Will Smith, the investigation report said
He told an HR manager that the only thing he ‘should be questioned on is my sarcasm’
The student had started recording the interaction with Lopez on his school-issued laptop because he anticipated the slap when he told his teacher hadn’t finished the homework, he told investigators. He said he was embarrassed by the interaction.
The student also told authorities that Lopez often did this and said the yardstick with blue tape on the end was used to hit students.
Lopez was described as ‘aggressively “tapping” [the student] on the inner arm, then immediately “tapping” him a little lighter in the upper arm.’
Another student told investigators that he ran away from his seat when he saw the teacher approaching him with a raised ruler because he has ‘seen Lopez hit other students with the ruler and he was scared.’
A different student said Lopez struck him after he translated for Portuguese-speaking students, because ‘Lopez thinks they are socializing.’ The same student also said he was hit twice in the leg with a ruler for answering a question wrong.
The math teacher admitted to investigators that he did use a yardstick in his class, but said he only ‘tapped’ them with it, according to the investigation report, viewed by The Palm Beach Post.
In addition, he allegedly grabbed a female student forcibly by the back of the neck on August 31, which a colleague reported, according to the Post.
The interaction, which was reportedly caught on surveillance footage, showed Lopez dropping his hand when the other teacher appeared.
The student told investigators that Lopez was mad at her because she had chosen to use the restroom at a farther bathroom and when she attempted to explain why he told her to ‘shut up,’ the Post reported.
He then reportedly grabbed her by the neck and walked her to a closer bathroom.
Although she was injured, she said his grip ‘hurt a little.’ She also said she saw Lopez hitting her classmates at times and said it happened when he was angry or just joking.
The school board (pictured) gave him an unpaid suspension and he will be officially terminated on October 15 if he does not appeal the decision
Law enforcement charged him with battery for the incidents, but the State Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute, The Palm Beach Post reported.
In a June 11 email, Lopez wrote to an HR representative: ‘Honestly, the only thing I should be questioned on is my sarcasm.
‘The difference this year is that I made the conscious effort to use methods that would make sure students felt safe, cared for and that I created an atmosphere where kids really wanted to learn…with an authentic feel to it.’
DailyMail.com has attempted to contact Lopez for comment. It is unclear if he plans to appeal the school board’s decision.