school daze

Now Playing at P.S. 65 in Ozone Park: Fourth Grade Fight Club

This is a true story. Joseph Gullotta, a 29-year-old fourth-grade teacher in Ozone Park, couldn’t handle the bickering between his students, so one day he decided to settle one particular feud once and for all. Clearing out the middle of the room and instructing the rest of the class to watch, he urged a 10- and 9-year-old to pummel each other until the best preteen won. From the Post:

Before beginning the match at the impromptu fight club at PS 65 in Ozone Park, Gullotta instructed a girl to close the classroom door.

He ordered the rest of his pupils to back up and make way for the battle, Queens DA Richard Brown said. The two combatants came out swinging and then began wrestling. During the bout, the older boy’s head rammed into the younger one’s mouth. The younger boy suffered a cut lip; the older one, a bruised head.

The boys weren’t offered a trip to the school nurse for two more periods. When the first did go, he was armed with the made-up story that Gullota had provided, “That he dropped a pencil and bashed heads with his classmate as they both bent down to pick it up.”

Teacher was kids’ brawl monitor: DA [NYP]
Related: Why Kindergarten Admissions Tests Are Worthless [NYM]

Now Playing at P.S. 65 in Ozone Park: Fourth Grade Fight Club