A substitute teacher at Montville High School is facing charges after allegedly holding a “fight club” in a classroom during school hours.
Police arrested 23-year-old Ryan Fish of Bozrah on Thursday following an investigation that began in Dec., 2017.
Officials say Fish, the substitute math teacher who was an employee of the Montville Board of Education, supervised the fights that occurred in Oct., 2017.
The fights are detailed in an arrest warrant. The students were 16, 15, and 14-years-old, and they were unevenly matched in what were slap fights across the face and head. The warrant states one student started throwing up. Still, Ryan reportedly encouraged him to continue to fight after he stopped stumbling around.
“Continue to fight after the kids was already hurt. But never mind that that he’s even letting this go on,” said Montville High School Senior Cameron Mitchell. “It’s just crazy.”
The fights can be seen on cell phone video. Police say Fish was heard giving the fighting students direction and at one time says “away from the door, away from the door.” The audio also captures the sounds of multiple hard hits the students are receiving throughout the fights.
“All I knew was that a teacher was letting kids fight,” said Montville High School Junior Luke Hall. “I didn’t really know about it didn’t really care to know much about it.”
Fish was brought down to the principal’s office and his explanation was “boys will be boys.” He also said where he grew up in the country, “boys do stuff like that.”
“We should not allow people like that in our schools,” said Mitchell. “We should have further background checks to see more what they’re about and their experience level.”
“I heard that he… Kids liked him,” said Hall. “He had a relationship with some of the students.”
Fish was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor, four counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree and breach of peace in the second degree.
He was held on a court set bond of $75,000 and was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
“Hopefully, they give him what he deserves,” said Mitchell.
As soon as school officials found out about the fighting, Fish was fired October tenth. But police didn’t find out about it until December after a social worker reported that one of the students who had been at juvenile court had what she said were “real and identifiable symptoms of being traumatized.”
As of this time, the superintendent of schools, Brian Levesque, did not return our call.