Sherri Davis, a science teacher at Jamie’s House Charter School in Houston, backed 13-year-old Isaiah Johnson into a corner and began beating him while his classmates watched.
Janiqua Johnson, one of Isaiah’s classmates, filmed the attack on her mobile phone. In the footage, which has made its way onto the internet, Ms Davis cane be seen dragging Isaiah across the floor before kicking and slapping him.
The video shows that the children initially thought that Ms Davis was joking with the boy after he teased a female classmate.
At the beginning of the video the children laugh and clap, but the laughter stops abruptly when Ms Davis starts hitting the boy.
Janiqua told the KHOU news channel that the teacher “snapped”.
She “just started beating him up,” Janiqua Johnson told KHOU. “His behaviour may have been bad but he didn’t deserve that,” she said.
Ms Davis was placed on administrative leave when school officials learned of the incident, but was fired when officials saw the video.
Isaiah’s mother Alesha Johnson said the video was now in the hands of Harris County Sheriff’s investigators and she has filed criminal charges.
She said: “I’m horrified. I just can’t believe something like that would happen to my child.”
“It was horrifying,” said Sue Jones, a spokesman for the school.