A high school teacher in the US was arrested on Friday after footage surfaced of her brutally beating up a special needs student.

Video shows the 16-year-old student apparently striking the teacher in the face before the teacher held the girl down in her seat.

The teacher can then be seen hitting the girl at least three times, then throwing her on the floor, in front of the whole classroom.

It doesn't end there: the teacher is then seen stomping on the girl's head, then yelling and walking away.

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Several students witnessed the incident at the Texas high school and were reportedly in shock.

Photo / Twitter
Photo / Twitter

The teacher has been identified as 32-year-old Tiffani Shadell Lankford.

She was immediately fired from her position as substitute teacher and was subsequently arrested.

According to police, she has a prior domestic violence offence from 2014 and has now been charged with aggravated assault.

The girl was taken to hospital, where she is still recovering from her injuries.

In a statement, the student's family said they were horrified by the incident.

"We are shocked and disgusted after seeing the abuse and excessive force used in this teacher's attempt to discipline a special needs child," attorney Paul Batrice told the Austin-based KVUE TV station on behalf of the student's family.

"There is no excuse for this type of behaviour. Given this teacher's alleged criminal history of domestic violence and the video footage that has shaken our community, we have started an investigation into this teacher and Hays CISD in the hopes of ensuring justice for this family and so that no Texas student ever endures such extreme behaviour again."

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Students watched in horror as the teacher stomped on the girl's head. Photo / Supplied
Students watched in horror as the teacher stomped on the girl's head. Photo / Supplied

Officials from the Hays Consolidated Independent School District also released a statement about the incident, saying it was a traumatic event for the student, her classmates and he teachers and staff at Lehman High School.

"As a Hays CISD family, when one of our schools and students is hurting, we all hurt. You may have already seen stories on the news tonight, or the video on social media, about a horrible incident that occurred late this afternoon at Lehman High School," the statement read.

"During the assault, classmates of the 16-year-old girl alerted other adults on campus that the assault was underway.

"Under no circumstance is that behaviour tolerated at Lehman High School or in Hays CISD," said Lehman Principal Karen Zuniga.