A Detroit high school teacher has been fired after she used a broomstick to stop a violent, desk-tumbling brawl between two male students.
According to WJBK-TV, the Pershing High School teacher, identified by news sources as Tiffany Eaton, was canned because the school considered her actions with the broom child abuse.
School officials say their teachers have been trained to call security during fights and not to not take action themselves.
Watch the altercation in the news station’s report:
“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,” Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, told WJBK.
Kiren Lowery is one of the students who threw punches in the fight. He told WJBK that Eaton was one of his favorite teachers, but thinks she should have waited for security instead of using a broom to break him and the other student up.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the incident occurred last week and both boys were suspended for several days.
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, which governs Pershing High School, recommended to its board of directors that the teacher be fired, but said she would have the opportunity to discuss the situation.
Some parents have voiced disagreement with the decision to terminate Eaton.
“I feel like if I was there, I would have done the same thing trying to break them up. … I don’t think she should lose her job or have charges brought against her,” Natalie Tyson, the mother of a Pershing freshman, told the Free Press. “What else could she do? Those guys were kind of big, and they were tearing up the classroom.”
A petition on Change.org asking for Eaton to be reinstated had garnered more than 600 signatures by Wednesday morning.
Eaton’s father, Kerry Davis, told WDIV-TV that his daughter said that her radio for security was not working that day. She told him that she tried to stop the fight fearing for the safety of other students.
“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,” Davis told the news station.