HOUSTON—Two teachers, a principal and a superintendent were charged Monday in connection with a videotaped beating at a Houston charter school.
Sheri Lynn Davis, a 40-year-old former teacher at Jamie’s House Charter School, is facing charges of injury to a child for her role in the incident.
Investigators said Davis backed 13-year-old Isaiah Reagins into a corner in a classroom and repeatedly punched and kicked him on April 29. Another student filmed the incident with a cell phone camera.
"I think this is validation for Isaiah and his mother and the other kids, that there’s been a cover-up all along," attorney Brant Stogner said.
Authorities said Davis snapped after Reagins reportedly laughed at a mentally challenged girl who was dancing.
In the video, Davis is seen beating Reagins for nearly a minute as laughter and applause are heard in the background.
Reagins’ mother said he suffered a black eye and other bruises in the attack.
Reagins mother filed a complaint with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on May 20, and an investigation was launched.
Davis was fired and publicly apologized for the attack.
But she was not alone. In addition to Davis, three other Jamie’s House coworkers were charged in the incident Monday.
Teacher Gabriel Hahn Moseley, who was in the room at the time of the beating, is facing charges of failure to report abuse. He was also fired in the wake of the investigation.
School Principal David Jones and Superintendent Ollie Williams Hilliard were also charged with failure to report abuse.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Christina Garza said investigators hope to send a strong message with the charges.
"The message that we want to send to people, regardless of where they work or who they are, is to report any type of incident -- especially one involving a student or child being beat or kicked or struck. Failure to do so is a crime," Garza said.
A spokesperson for Jamie’s House said both Jones and Hilliard were shocked by the charges against them – charges they believe are without merit.
Jones, Hilliard and Moseley could all face up to a year in jail if convicted.
Davis could face two to 10 years in prison.
All four have since bonded out as of Tuesday morning.