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Detroit teacher fired after breaking up fight with broom

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  • Community reaches out to support fired teacher

    Community reaches out to support fired teacher

    Wednesday, May 7 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-05-07 23:54:50 GMT
    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.
    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.
DETROIT (WJBK) - A Detroit teacher has been fired after a cell phone video surfaced of her breaking up a fight between two students with a broom.

In the video, the two male students 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 the teacher 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.

Now, the Pershing High School teacher is out of a job as the school district says it does not tolerate child abuse.

Pershing is part of the Education Achievement Authority, the state's school turnaround district. The EAA district does not have a union so the teacher has no ground to file an appeal.

Keith Johnson, President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, tells FOX 2's Maurielle Lue he believes the teacher was wrong for using a broom, although he understands her motive. "Unfortunately, the method that she used, in terms of swatting one with a broom, is a violation of the corporal punishment provision under the Michigan school code. But she's caught in a quandary because under that same code she's expected to do what is necessary to diffuse a situation," he says.

A representative from Pershing's communication's office says teachers were instructed during orientation to call for security on a walkie talkie during such situations. FOX 2 has learned this teacher's walkie talkie wasn't working.

Kiren Lowery, one of the students admittedly fighting in the cell phone video, says the fired teacher was one of his favorites but that he does not feel responsible for her termination. He thinks she should have waited for security to come.

Click on the video player above to hear more from the student and his mother in Lue's report.

He and the other student fighting were suspended for 10 days.

UPDATED TO ADD: 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."

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

ALSO SEE: Community reaches out to support fired teacher


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