Detroit teacher fired after student fight surfaces
Updated On: May 07 2014 08:42:31 AM EDT
A teacher in Detroit says she has been fired after a video surfaced of her allegedly using a broom to break up a fight between two students.
The video shows two male Pershing High School students throwing punches and shoving each other around the classroom. The teacher, Tiffani Eaton, appears to step in by hitting one of the students with a broom and saying, “Get off.” Another student tries to get in between the fighting students, and Eaton tries to hold one back.
Local 4 talked with Eaton's father, Kerry Davis, who says his daughter told him the radio she was supposed to use to call security wasn't working -- and that Eaton is a mother and tried to stop the violence only out of fear for the safety of the other students in the classroom.
"My daughter is every bit of 5 feet 2 and her reaction was just in the best interest of the students, both of them, not just one of them," said Davis.
Davis says his daughter was fired because the school told her she had violated a policy against striking any student. Yet, Davis says, his daughter has been getting a tremendous amount of support from friends and others. She plans on getting an attorney because she feels she was unjustly let go.
"They could have took some other action other than the action that they took," said Davis. "Again, my daughter is very distraught about this whole situation. She's sorry that it happened."
Eaton, 31, has been a teacher for three years. It's her first year at Pershing.
She's also getting some support from the students who miss her in the classroom.
"Now she ain't got no job and she was a good teacher. She was a good teacher, excellent teacher," said Bernard Barton, a student at Pershing.
Pastor Alexander Bullock, of the Change Agent Consortium, is calling for the teacher to be reinstated.
Eden is also getting a lot of support on social media. Supporters set up a Change.org petition stating, "This teacher had no reason to be fired." There's even been a GoFundMe page created. The consensus seems to be this teacher did what anyone else would have done by breaking up the vicious fight.
Pershing High School is under the Education Achievement Authority.
Statement from the EAA:
After performing a thorough investigation, the students who were involved in the altercation in question were disciplined and the teacher was dismissed.
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) seeks to promote a safe environment for its students and staff, and accordingly, does not, and will not tolerate any inappropriate conduct. The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan has recommended the teacher's termination of employment to its Board of Directors. Which means the termination is effective immediately; she will have an opportunity, like any other employee, to meet with the board as they consider this recommendation at its next scheduled board meeting.
She will be notified in writing of the confirmed date and time of the board meeting.