Gym teacher fired for playing ‘Fortnite’ with his students

Game over!

A Brooklyn gym teacher with a case of “Fortnite” fever recruited teammates for the wildly popular video game in his own classroom — until the Department of Education found out and fired him, The Post has learned.

When Brett Belsky, 29, overheard some of his MS 890 students chatting about Xbox games in January 2018, he scrawled his online handle, “TheBelsky,” on the board, and offered to play a few matches of trendy third-person shooting game “Fortnite” with them if they did well in class.

“As a teacher, you reach out the best you can. These kids talk about video games,” Belsky said Monday. “I said, ‘If you can get this work done, maybe I’ll play against you.’”

“I saw their eyebrows go up,” he said, adding that he told the kids to get “parental consent” before playing against him.

Belsky held up his end of the deal in March 2018, playing the game online for about 20 minutes with two pint-size players, ages 11 and 12, according to a city report on the incident.

The 11-year-old player mentioned the unusual pairing to his dad, who reported the gaming session to the Kensington school’s principal the next day.

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“I never had a write-up in my eight years [of] teaching,” said Belsky, who was reassigned to a DOE rubber room in April pending the probe –– and ultimately canned in the fall, with a recommendation finding that he “engaged in inappropriate internet conduct” with the students.

The Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District, which oversaw the probe, also suggested that the DOE clarify its employee “Social Media Guidelines” to make clear that teacher-student gaming is out of bounds.

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

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Belsky conceded that he “should have spoken with higher-ups, the principal” before enacting the games-for-grades program, but said he was puzzled by the sacking.

“[Belsky’s union lawyer] told me, ‘It’s perception. It’s the impression. Without details or context, people can get the wrong impression,’” Belsky said.

He said he’ll appeal the firing in a hearing later this month, and maintains that he was just trying to connect with the younger generation.

“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.”

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