BROOKLYN, New York — A teacher in Brooklyn, New York was fired after it was revealed he played the popular video game Fortnite with a couple of his student.
The New York Post reported that Brett Belsky wrote his online handle on the board in January of last year and told students he would play with them if they did well in his class.
Last March, he played two of the students, ages 11 and 12, for about 20 minutes, The Post reported.
One of the students told his father what happened. That man called the school and complained. Belsky was reassigned and fired this past fall.
On Monday, he told The Post, “As a teacher, you reach out the best you can. These kids talk about video games. I said, ‘If you can get this work done, maybe I’ll play against you.’”
“I saw their eyebrows go up,” Belsky said.
He said he told the students to get their parents’ permission.
“School employees shouldn’t interact with students online except for school-related reasons,” a Department of Education spokesman told The Post. “Mr. Belsky was terminated based on his overall performance, including a review of this case.”
Belsky admitted he should have spoken to the principal before enacting the games-for-grades program. But he said he doesn’t feel what he did was cause for being fired.
Belsky plans to appeal the firing in a hearing later this month.
“This game is insanely popular with them. I have to figure out a way to reach these kids, to get them to do their work,” he said. “I love what I do. I am a good teacher.”