Selma student explains why he punched a teacher

FRESNO, Calif.

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The video was captured by a cell phone in a seventh grade classroom at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Selma. In it, you see a teacher, known as Mr. Braun, surrounded by children. A few seconds in, one of the students walks up and punches the teacher in the stomach. Thirty kids were in the classroom at the time.

Students tell Action News the teacher was simply trying to have fun with them. And that everyone, including the teacher told him to throw a punch.

The grainy cell phone video shows seventh graders at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Selma laughing as their substitute teacher Mr. Braun encourages a student to punch him in the stomach.

At first you see that student Isaac Varela, hesitate. Seconds later, he throws a powerful punch.

Reporter: "Why did he tell you to punch him?"

Isaac Varela: "I don't know he was just saying that like, he was just letting other kids punch him, that's all he told us."

Isaac claims another student in his class also punched Mr. Braun. He says the substitute teacher was just having fun, and wanted to show the class his physical strength.

Isaac Varela: "I think it's no big deal, but that's just my opinion."

Isaac's mom agrees.

Liz Del Rio: "Oh, he's nervous."

She hadn't seen the video until we showed it to her Friday night.

Liz Del Rio: "I thought it was harmless fun and I mean, I don't know, I can understand them saying it was probably not appropriate in a school setting, but it was all fun, I didn't see anyone getting hurt."

But, some parents say what Mr. Braun did sends the wrong message. Maria Moreno's son is an eighth grader at the school.

Maria Moreno: "They're supposed to be role models and you know, we trust the teachers to be teaching the students not to use violence of course, number one, and you know, lead them the right way and that's something very very wrong."

Selma Unified superintendent Mark Sutton says the teacher's actions are being investigated. And at this point, Mr. Braun is still a substitute teacher for the district.

Mark Sutton: "We are aware of what's happened. We are looking into it and then we'll make our decisions as soon as we do our full investigation."

We tried contacting Mr. Braun, but at this point, we have not heard back.

School officials tell us he has been with the district for years and that he has never had any problems.

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