Community reaches out to support fired teacher - KMSP-TV

Community reaches out to support fired teacher

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(WJBK) - The community has reached out to support a Detroit teacher who was recently fired after a cell phone video surfaced of her breaking up a fight between two students with a broom.

Tiffani Eaton's family tells FOX 2's Maurielle Lue they believe her termination was the "easy way" out.

"They should have had the fortitude to really stand up and say to the students that we're not going to tolerate this kind of foolishness in our schools, and they didn't do it. And that's unfortunate," says Eaton's father, Kerry Davis.

In the video, the two students at Pershing High School are fighting for at least half a minute before the teacher intervenes. Several students can be seen standing by as the two fight, knocking over desks.

When Eaton does intervene, she appears to strike one of the students on the back with a broom multiple times. The student backs off, but then the other student runs back towards him and the fight continues.

The fight finally appears to end up when a student steps in and pulls the two apart. The video ends moments later.

One of the students admittedly fighting in the video, Kiren Lowrey, has said Eaton was one of his favorite teachers. He and his mother agree with the school's decision to end Eaton's employment.

Many metro Detroiters, however, have a different opinion about Eaton's firing. The story has generated thousands of comments on FOX 2's Facebook page, in which the majority believe her firing was wrong.

Others are hoping to learn from this situation.

Madison Heights Public Schools Superintendent Randy Speck says he showed the video to his teachers as a training tool to create their own teacher action plans.

Pershing is part of the EAA district, the state's school turnaround district. Policy requires the teacher to call for help on a school-issued walkie talkie, but Eaton's was not working at the time.

A spokesperson for the EAA released this statement on Tuesday, May 6:

"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 next scheduled board meeting. The teacher was hired on Jan. 27 2014."

The two students fighting in the video were suspended for 10 days.

Davis says his daughter is grateful for all of the support and wants her job back, and is hiring a lawyer to help make that happen.

A petition has been started on change.org calling for the teacher to get her job back.

WKQI-FM's Mojo in the Morning has also started a GoFundMe account to help the teacher. Click here for donation information.

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