Life imitates art and the piece in question is Fight Club. A Connecticut substitute teacher orchestrated his own interpretation at Montville High School and was arrested on Thursday (Apr. 12) after a lengthy investigation. Ryan Avery Fish, 23, was fired on Oct. 10 but the investigation began in December after a student reported physical and mental trauma.
Fish was charged with four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of risk of injury, and one count of breach of peace, according to the Hartford Courant. During his trial, Fish pleaded not guilty on all counts. According to the country clerk, the former teacher is set to return on May 8 per written promise. His bail is set at $75,000.
Fish told police that the fights started in September, without admission. “I would let them be teenagers and get their energy out,” Fish said. As stated by police, there are videos where Fish can be seen moving garbage cans to make space for students to fight, TIME reports. He said that he thought they were being “rambunctious.”
The student who made the report in December reported that he was beaten and robbed by students. He later received a mental health evaluation. Fish reportedly told police that there had only been four fights. When asked about the incidents, Fish excused them, telling Principal Jeffrey Theodoss that “boys will be boys,” according to a warrant.
Fish was fired by superintendent Brian Levesque in October but it was not reported to police or school officials. There were reportedly numerous video clips in which Fish would move obstacles, or just stand back and look on. One of the first videos was brought to the school’s attention by a parent. Levesque did not immediately comment on neglecting to contact police.
Fish would reportedly permit the students to draw male body parts on the board and according to a student, he would tell them that he smoked marijuana. Ultimately, Fish told police that he was “an idiot” who wanted to “befriend” the students.