OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha school board has fired a 39-year-old teacher accused of taking two eighth-grade students outside a school building and encouraging them to resolve their dispute by fighting.
The board voted 11-1 on Wednesday night to dismiss Patrick Kocsis. He's been on paid leave since the incident on Aug. 22.
Kocsis declined to comment after the board meeting.
Kocsis also has been cited by police on two counts of misdemeanor child neglect for the incident at McMillan Magnet Center middle school in northeast Omaha.
A district spokeswoman has said she didn't know what started the disagreement that began in Kocsis' science classroom and included slaps, pushing and shoving.
Felisa Evans, mother of 14-year-old Micah, said her son told her he couldn't remember what the dispute was about.
Kocsis led the boys out of the class and down hallways and past the office, Evans said, telling the boys they were going to settle their dispute his way.
According to Evans, when the three of them got outside, Kocsis said the boys would have to "slap it out."
After Kocsis assured them he was serious, the boys flailed away and grappled for about 20 minutes, Evans said.
The fight was broken up when the principal and a security officer arrived.
A police report said the incident was recorded by a school security camera outside.
Kocsis worked at McMillan for nine years.
He did not returned calls seeking comment. Online court records didn't list the name of his attorney.
The boys initially were suspended for the fight, but the district later removed the punishment from their records.