ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – A video has gone viral that shows an 8th grader at Bowie Middle School in Odessa attacking his teacher following a disagreement that appears to be over a cellphone.

The ECISD says the student has been arrested but the district isn’t treating this as an isolated incident. The district says student violence has been on the rise, and ECISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri believes he knows why.

“We have to understand that kids today, many of them are struggling with some mental health challenges. The pandemic was a very difficult experience for many of our children, and as our kids recover from the pandemic, we have seen not only at ECISD but across the country, a rise in violence in our teenagers and younger adolescents,” said Dr. Muri.

The superintendent says he’s proud of the counselors working to help students by providing more mental health resources, but says there’s a need for more.

“We do not have enough mental health resources to meet the needs of kids and families in this community. We’ve brought in teletherapy. Our kids now have access to therapists remotely. These therapists exist in other parts of our state. That is now an opportunity at ECISD, but even with that addition there still aren’t enough resources for kids and families,” said Dr. Muri.

But the superintendent also says this isn’t necessarily a budgetary issue

“Sometimes the solution isn’t a bigger budget. It is finding the adults in our society that are interested in pursuing counseling so that we can have enough of those individuals. Many times money is not the obstacle. It is simply finding the human beings that don’t exist in our own community,” said Dr. Muri.

As for the 8th grader who attacked his teacher, he’s now facing a felony charge of Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant.