Teacher suing to get job back after being fired for playing Fortnite with students

David Purcell

A school teacher who was fired for playing Fortnite online with his students is suing to get his job back, after claiming that he was unfairly dismissed. 

The Brooklyn gym teacher, Brett Belsky, would write his online username on the classroom board and select students that had done well in class to play with him in the popular battle royale video game. 

However, after talking to parents about the technique at a parent teacher conference, his “games for grades” strategy backfired as a father of one of the children made a complaint to the principal – as reported by the New York Post. 

Epic GamesTeacher says he asked children to get parental consent before playing with him.

After overhearing students talk about the game after it was released, he found that they weren’t focused enough on their school work and then introduced his teaching tactic in January 2018. 

Complaints, though, sparked an investigation from educational authorities and he has since lost his job. 

“School employees shouldn’t interact with students online except for school-related reasons,” a Department of Education (DOE) spokesman told The Post. “Mr. Belsky was terminated based on his overall performance, including a review of this case.”

PixabayBelksy wants the DOE to remove allegations from his official record and renew his teaching license.

Now, he is on a mission to reclaim his position. “As any great educator would do, Mr. Belsky sought the best ways to motivate and connect with his students,” the recently filed suit states. 

“The report did not indicate that anything inappropriate took place between Mr. Belsky and the student. In fact, when asked about Mr. Belsky’s tactics with her son, the SCI Report indicated, ‘Mother A felt this conduct was appropriate and motivational,’” the filing states. 

Belsky is looking for a judge to order the DOE to give him his job back, alleging that officials wrongfully accused him of hugging a student, spinning a girl in class and claiming he said that he would like to “adopt” a student – all of which he denies. 

About The Author

David is the former US Managing Editor at Dexerto.com. You can contact him via email: david.purcell@dexerto.com.