A gym teacher has been fired for playing Fortnite, the wildly popular video game, with his young students. Brett Belsky, 30, taught at MS 890 in Brooklyn, New York. In January last year, he wrote his Fortnite usernmae, ‘The Belsky’, on a whiteboard for students at the school to add him, saying that he would play them if they ‘did well in the class’. In March, he played two of the students aged 11 and 12 for around 20 minutes. When one of the students told their father about it, he contacted the school to complain and Belsky was fired.
The Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District said he had been engaging in ‘inappropriate internet conduct’ with the youngsters and had not followed social media rules. Belsky maintains that their game was innocent and that he was merely trying to motivate the children by taking an interest in the game they love so much. ‘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 believes his tactic worked and said that when he offered the kids the incentive to play a game of Fortnite against him if they did well, their ‘eyebrows went up’. He said he told them to get parental consent beforehand. He plans to appeal his firing and, quoting the advice of his union lawyer, said: ‘It’s perception. It’s the impression. ‘Without details or context, people can get the wrong impression.’