Tiffani Eaton Job Back: Teacher Who Broke Up Fight With Broom Reinstated

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 12:41 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Tiffani Eaton, a Detroit high school teacher who was fired after using a broom to break up an intense fight between two students caught on video, will get her job back with back pay, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Eaton, a teacher at Pershing High School, was fired May 1, a day after she broke up a fight between two teenage boys pummeling each other in her classroom. The fight and the teacher's intervention was caught by another student via a camera phone.

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The video showed the boys ignoring screams to stop fighting and Eaton's walkie talkie to call security for help did not work. By that time, the students had started to knock over desks in their fight when Eaton reached for the broom.

The video eventually shows an unidentified male entering the classroom and physically separating the two students.

"We're having good faith discussions with the (Education Achievement Authority of Michigan) to bring this matter to a resolution," Jeffrey Lance Abood, Eaton's attorney, told the Free Press. "We appreciate the fact that the EAA has essentially admitted they were wrong with their prior actions in terminating her."

Pershing principal Gregory King came to Eaton's defense, calling the firing by the EAA, the state agency created to run failing school districts, illegal.

"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," King said in an open community letter, according to Deadline Detroit. "They are asked to do so without adequate resources to guarantee even basic bodily safety."

EAA spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson told the Free Press that the decision on Eaton's reinstatement happened after consultation with the Michigan Department of Human Services' Office of Family Advocate, which conducted an independent, third-party investigation of the incident.

More than 2,300 people signed an online petition on Change.org supporting Eaton and for the teacher to get her job back.

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