Detroit Teacher Who Broke Up Fight Between Students with Broom Files Workers Comp Claim for Trauma
A Detroit public school teacher, who became famous after a video of her breaking up a fight between two students with a broom went viral, has filed a workers comp claim with her employers asserting that she now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident, rendering her unable to return to work.
Tiffani Eaton, 31 years old, filed a workers comp claim on Thursday, July 9th, with the Education Achievement Authority, the group that oversaw the operation of the school where she worked. Not only did Ms. Eaton suffer stress related to the students’ brawl, her attorney said, but she was reportedly fired after the video went viral, and then rehired, which caused additional stress to her and her family.
“Mental health care professionals have restricted her from returning to work in that environment because it would exacerbate her acute stress disorder and potential post-traumatic stress disorder,” her attorney, Jim Rasor, said.
The school district claims that they did not actually fire Ms. Eaton, a claim that could cause problems with her workers comp filing.
“She’s still considered an EAA employee. … We want her to return to work,” spokesman Mario Morrow said.
The viral video shows two male students at Pershing High School fighting over a designer belt. The pair began throwing punches and collapsed on the floor, hitting each other, before Ms. Eaton came over and broke up the violent fight with a broom. The incident occurred on April 30th; the following day, May 1st, an EAA official sent a letter to Ms. Eaton informing her that her termination would be recommended to the district’s board. The letter added that her actions left “the district no choice but to terminate your employment effective immediately.”
The district later told her that she was cleared to come back to work at any EAA school, but her attorney says that her doctors insist she suffers from mental stress too severe to return to the district.
Eaton, who received national attention due to the viral video, added that she would not return to work at the district until security was improved. Morrow said that EAA was working to improve school security, and Eaton was welcome to return to work soon.
“We heard loud and clear during her press conferences that all she wanted to do was come back to work, and we’re trying to satisfy her wishes,” Morrow said.
Morrow said that the district put her on unpaid leave beginning May 29th. Her attorney sent EAA a letter with a doctor’s diagnosis of PTSD, which led to the workers comp claim filing. Morrow insists that if she returns to the district, she will receive retroactive pay for her time off. Meanwhile, Eaton’s attorney says that her PTSD and mental stress were reevaluated on June 20th, and she is still a candidate for workers comp due to mental stress.
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