Castleberry High teacher removed over 'slap-boxing' video

A Castleberry High School teacher was removed from the classroom last week after a video was posted to YouTube showing him "slap boxing" in a school hallway with a student, Superintendent Gary S. Jones said Wednesday.

The ninth-grade language arts teacher, Brad Graves, resigned Monday, Jones said.

In the 24-second video, Graves exchanges open-handed slaps with a student while other students look on, laughing. The two were clearly "horsing around," and neither was injured, Jones said.

Nevertheless, his behavior was not acceptable, so Graves was put on administrative leave Friday, Jones said.

"I think his intents were all good," Jones said. "We just don't tolerate adults putting their hands on kids."

Another video depicting a separate but similar slap-boxing match between Graves and a male student later surfaced, Jones said.

Graves could not be reached to comment Wednesday afternoon.

The incident at the River Oaks campus apparently took place during one of Graves' classes last week, Jones said. The video shows Graves and the student dancing and ducking, exchanging slaps to the body and face.

Jones said he believes that a student recorded the match. Students may have cellphones at school, but they are supposed to be turned off during school hours, Jones said.

Graves taught in the district for four years, Jones said.

"He has done a good job, and his kids have done a good job on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills," Jones said. "He related well to his students."

Jones said he believes that Graves was trying to engage the students by finding a way to connect with them.

"I don't think there was any malicious intent," Jones said. "I think he was trying to use it as motivation."

JESSAMY BROWN, 817-390-7326