Caldwell substitute teacher arrested. Police say he urged students to fight, recorded it

Caldwell School District

Syringa Middle School substitute teacher Ettson Arreola was arrested Friday after he allegedly encouraged multiple students to fight during class, police said.

In a news release, the Caldwell Police Department said a fight between two male students occurred in Arreola’s classroom Thursday. Shortly after, police said, two girls fought in the same classroom in Arreola’s presence.

Police said Arreola encouraged students to fight and recorded the fight on video. Caldwell police resource officers discovered the video on social media and began investigating, interviewing school officials, parents, witnesses and those involved.

Caldwell detectives said Arreola set a timer and encouraged the students to fight for 10 seconds while he recorded it. The students involved were not injured, police said in the release.

“Mr. Arreola’s actions tear at the fabric of our community and are reprehensible,” Caldwell Chief of Police Rex Ingram said in the release. “The video is appalling, disturbing and unimaginable. This man was entrusted by his community to keep our children safe and provide academic education but he chose to facilitate a fight club in his classroom.”

Caldwell Police issued a warrant for Arreola’s arrest on Friday, subsequently arresting him without incident. He is in custody at the Canyon County Jail, charged with four counts of injury to a child, one count of inciting a riot and four counts of violation of juvenile corrections act, encouraging a minor to fight.

“The Caldwell School District has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” Superintendent Shalene French said in the release. “The personal safety and welfare of each child is of paramount concern to the District. The District has taken immediate steps to ensure the safety of all students. We are providing support for the students involved and are actively cooperating with law enforcement.”

According to Caldwell Police, restrictions are in place to keep Arreola from contacting the students involved and any student in the Caldwell School District.

This is the school district’s third time in the news this month after students at Caldwell High held a “Brown Pride” protest after school administration associated a student’s clothing with gangs. Earlier this month, audience members at a Caldwell School Board meeting aggressively spoke against a policy proposal on gender identity and sexual orientation, forcing trustees to call the meeting to an early end.