Albuquerque Schools Sued Over Sword Duel

A New Mexico high school teacher has been accused of staging a sword fight in class that resulted in a student receiving severe injuries. Loviata Mitchell, a former chemistry teacher at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, allegedly brought katana and rapier-style swords to class and had students square off against each other.

According to the lawsuit filed by the injured student’s guardians, Mitchell had the students rearrange desks to form a makeshift ring in the middle of the classroom.

The lawsuit claims that after the first two students completed their two-minute bout, Mitchell called on the injured student, only identified as N.S., and another classmate to fight. During the fight, the student was struck across her right forearm, wrist, and hand, resulting in severe lacerations and damage to her nerves and tendons.

The family’s attorney, Jessica Hernandez, stated that the injuries sustained by the student were not consistent with a “prop” sword, and the student has had to undergo multiple surgeries and daily pain as a result.

What is most shocking about this incident is the alleged reaction of Mitchell and the school district. The lawsuit claims that Mitchell yelled, “I’m in trouble!” after realizing the severity of the injuries and ordered students to delete any videos of the incident.

The school’s assistant principal, Manuel Alzaga, also reportedly downplayed the incident, writing in a report that it was a lesson on “metal and melding” and checking “No” when asked if the injury violated school rules.

It took the school staff 30 minutes to call 911, and the injured student’s grandfather, who is her guardian, was not notified until 20 minutes after the incident. This delay in seeking medical help is simply unacceptable.

The lawsuit also alleges that despite multiple surgeries and physical therapy, the student’s hand and wrist will never fully recover, leaving her with daily pain and struggles with basic tasks. The fact that this all could have been prevented if Mitchell had used proper judgment and not brought weapons into the classroom is truly shocking and infuriating.

Although Albuquerque Public Schools has declined to comment on the pending litigation, they did confirm that Mitchell was fired in July of 2022. Mitchell, on the other hand, has not responded to requests for comment.

NBC News