According to CBS 17 , Federico Vargas, 41, a high school teacher in Cloverdale, CA, was arrested last week and charged with five counts of endangering a child and 13 counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors. The Cloverdale Police Department claim the charges stem from Vargas’ creating a ‘fight club’ inside his classroom.
“[Vargas] was refereeing the fights as you would see in a boxing ring or an MMA type fight,” said Sgt. Chris Parker. Authorities said that multiple students were injured in these incidents and one teen required medical treatment.
These fights are alleged to have taken place inside Vargas’s special education classroom at Cloverdale High School. Cloverdale Unified School District Superintendent Jeremy Decker claimed that school officials contacted police after learning about the alleged fighting.
According to Decker Vargas, who has taught at the school for eight years, was put on leave. “To have our students potentially be put in an unsafe environment, it just rocks me,” said Decker. “Just know as a superintendent this has my full and undivided attention and we will do everything in our power to get to the bottom of this and make sure all of our kids are safe.”
A student, speaking anonymously to KRON 4, said they felt that Vargas’ arrest was unfair. “He’s the best teacher and he’s the only one who all actually cares about his students. It wasn’t like he was making us fight. Two kids had beef [and] wanted to fight each other and this [was] his best solution.”
This isn’t the first time a teacher has been accused of turning their classroom into a fight club. In April, 2018 Ryan Fish, 23, was arrested and charged with offenses connected to alleged fights inside his math class at Montville High School in Montville, CT.
Fish was granted accelerated pretrial rehabilitation in October (per Norwich Bulletin). The two-year program will require Fish to complete 40 hours of community service and possibly receive mental health treatment. If he fulfills those requirements the most serious charges against him will be dismissed.