Connecticut substitute teacher Ryan Fish said he wanted to “befriend” students at Montville High School in Oakdale, where he was hired to work as a math teacher.
But now, the 23-year-old teacher is facing charges.
According to People, Fish supervised a “fight club,” which involved several students hitting each other — right in his classroom during school hours.
The fight club included at least four students, ranging in age from 14 to 16.
The students hit each other with "full force strikes with open hands,” which caused at least one student to vomit and another to go to the hospital, Newsweek reports.
The school became aware of the fights in October after videos of the incidents surfaced. Some showed Fish telling students to move out of sight away from the door and egging them on.
The videos also show him directing the students who were fighting.
Fish was fired for the behavior on October 10, but the school didn't alert authorities, Hartford Courant reports.
Brian Levesque, Montville’s superintendent of schools, said in a statement:
At the time, based on the initial video that I viewed and the information I was provided, I didn’t feel that this was a law enforcement matter. Had I known then, what I know now, yes, I should have contacted police.
Police launched an investigation in mid-December after someone contacted a state trooper about the videos.
When authorities interviewed Fish about the “fight club,” he admitted that the just wanted the students to like him. He said:
“Boys will be boys... The truth is I’m an idiot and wanted to befriend them. I’m immature.”
The videos showed that the students involved in the fights were often mismatched in size, with one being bigger than the other. At least one student said he did not want to participate in the matches.
Fish has now been charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor, one count of breach of peace, and four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment.
He has pleaded not guilty and was released on a $75,000 bond.