Update: Elementary Teacher Gets In Fist Fight Outside School - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/26/08- Van

Update: Elementary Teacher Gets In Fist Fight Outside School

Hughes is a first grade teacher at J.E. Rhodes Elementary in Van. She and 29-year old Jessica Goode got into the confrontation outside Van's Intermediate School Saturday morning.

"When our officer get there, there were several people that were rather irate so he called for a backup unit, because of the seriousness of the situation," said Van Police Chief Kelly Smith. 

No one saw how the fight broke out, but Goode told Van police that Hughes pushed her and said "let's take it outside." She then said Hughes punched her in the left eye and proceeded to hit, scratch, and pull her hair."

Hughes and her attorney would not comment Tuesday but Van Superintendent Joddie Witte said Hughes is a model teacher.

"She went to school here and had a goal to be a teacher and so she's now a teacher and a very successful one, a first-year teacher," said Witte. 

Still, many said there's no excuse for this kind of behavior.

"There's no sense in fighting at a PeeWee kids game," said former little league coach Mike Price.  "You're there to teach them the basics and good sportsmanship and that's not one way to do it."

For now, Hughes is taking personal leave from school and authorities are trying to get to the bottom of a she-said, she-said situation.

"No matter how thin a piece of wood is it has two sides," said Witte.

"We know there's two sides to every story," said Smith.  "We've investigated to the fullest extent we can and at this point we turn it over to the D.A.'s office."

Van police said if she's convicted on the assault charges, Jeanette Hughes could face up to a year in jail.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com

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