Teacher sets up 'fight club' for violent pupils
The author of 'Fight Club', the book that was turned into a film starring Brad Pitt, has lent his support to a teacher in Los Angeles who is accused of organising and refereeing secret boxing matches between his pupils.
News of the classroom bouts emerged after Stephen Wesley (43), a teacher at the Camp Holton juvenile probation facility in San Fernando, was arrested at his home on Tuesday and charged with six counts of child endangerment.
Investigators claim that when Mr Wesley was unable to stop his 15-year-old students beating each other up, he abandoned the curriculum and set about establishing a real-life fight club, cheering as punches were thrown. He even set ground rules, officials claim, such as establishing the area in the classroom where the violence could take place.
"I'd much rather the students had been reading books, but what the f***, they're kids," Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club, said. "People often feel as though they need some experience of dealing with conflict and violence."
Mr Wesley was being held on $600,000 (€437,000) bail pending a court appearance today. (© The Times, London)