After the community rallied around a Detroit teacher who was fired after she used a broom to break up a violent fight among two male students, Tiffani Eaton has her job back.
Last week after a desk-tumbling brawl broke out among two students, the authority governing Pershing High School, where Eaton taught, recommended she be terminated, effective immediately. At the time, one of the boys who admitted to fighting in the video said Eaton was one of his favorite teachers, but added that he agreed with her firing because she didn’t follow school protocol to wait for a security guard.
Soon after though, many people, including other parents, community members and even Pershing High School’s principal, spoke out in support of Eaton.
“As someone with personal knowledge of the situation, I feel I have a duty to clarify a few important facts that have been distorted in the public record,” principal Gregory King wrote in a letter. “First, Ms. Eaton should never have been fired. Period. I am asking EAA administration to reverse path. Our teachers at Pershing high and at all other schools are called upon to do the impossible every day: counselor, security guard, teacher and more. They are asked to do so without adequate resources to guarantee even basic bodily safety. Media reports have falsely alleged that I recommended Ms. Eaton’s termination. That is not true. EAA central administration has had an opportunity to report the truth and correct the misinformation. They have not done so.”
Eaton stood by her actions.
“I called security. I waited for security. If we think about leaving the room, I can’t, and the mother in me won’t allow me to leave such a situation,” Eaton told WJBK-TV on Monday.
“In the video, it doesn’t show all of the pipes sticking out of the ground … there’s so many hazards in that room,” the 35-year-old continued. “And when they fight, they don’t see any of the things around them. I acted in the moment feeling as if that student was going to be seriously hurt or maybe even killed. It takes something out of me every time I watch it.”
“I don’t regret my actions. I know what I did was virtuous,” she added later in the interview.
Watch Eaton talk about the incident:
On Tuesday, WJBK reported that Education Achievement Authority, which governs the high school like a school board, reversed its decision to fire Eaton upon further review of the incident.
The authority’s spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson told the news station that Eaton would receive pay for the dates she has been out of work.