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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A fight between a staff member and a student inside a classroom on Monday was caught on video.

The physical altercation broke out at Westview Middle School, which is in the Riverview Gardens School District. The district and the community are reacting to the assault. Many said the video was very disturbing.

People in the community are concerned about what they saw and wonder how something like this could happen in a classroom.

“This is shocking,” said Karen Cummings. “I’m like, what led up to them having an altercation, and why wasn’t anybody in the room once they started hearing commotion.”

The video showed the staff member wearing a red shirt and the student throwing punches. They ended up on the floor as they continued striking each other, slamming into a desk, and a chair fell, almost hitting them.

In the video, both were pulling each other’s hair while others in the classroom watched the incident unfold.

It’s unclear how the fight started, how it ended, and if anyone will be disciplined.

“Kids are supposed to go to school to learn,” Cummings said. “Not go to school and not have teachers put hands on them.”

“This was very disappointing to me to see an adult fighting that young girl,” said Donta Madison. “It’s unprofessional.”

The Riverview Gardens School District released a statement and sent a letter to parents, saying the following about the assault:

Dear Riverview Gardens School District parents,

A physical altercation occurred between an adult staff member and a student at Westview Middle School on Monday, December 5. This incident was captured in a deeply disturbing video that is circulating on news and social media. Riverview Gardens School District does not condone violence and takes violent behavior seriously. An investigation into this incident has been initiated in accordance with district policy and procedures. We ask the RGSD community for patience as we conduct a complete and thorough investigation into this matter.

Westview Middle School and District administration officials are cooperating with local authorities regarding this matter. Communication was shared with the staff and parents of Westview Middle School on Monday afternoon. In light of the magnitude of the incident, this information is now being shared Districtwide. Counseling services are available for affected students and staff. Any staff or students who would like to speak with a counselor can request services at the main office.

Riverview Gardens School District invites staff, scholars, parents and community members to attend the Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Westview Middle School to address the topic of school safety. RGSD is committed to working in partnership with community and District stakeholders to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff. We thank you for your support and commitment to educating scholars in the Riverview Gardens community.