Teacher Brooke Harris called this morning to discuss her recent dismissal as an English teacher at Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School. The 2-time teacher of the year told us that she was never given a real reason to why she was fired, when she says she was just trying to help her students do something meaningful...
JUST LISTEN FOR YOURSELF:
A few dozen people gathered at a Detroit church to rally against the the firing of a teacher whose students wanted to organize a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin's family.
Via Detroit News:
English teacher Brooke Harris, 26, said she's confused by her March dismissal from Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School.
On Tuesday night, clergy, community activists and others gathered at King Solomon Missionary Baptist to voice their displeasure over the teen's death, as well as Harris' dismissal. Harris said the idea for a fundraiser resulted from showing her eighth-grade journalism and yearbook class coverage of the slaying, and then asking them to write a short opinion piece.
Once a month, the school allows students to pay $1 to wear street clothes instead of their uniform, so students proposed that March 28 — the final class day before spring break — could be a day all students pay $1 to wear a hoodie, which is what Martin, 17, was wearing when he was killed.
Harris said the principal approved the idea, but Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell did not. The superintendent met with Harris and gave her a two-day suspension. While suspended, Harris said she went to the school's literacy fair to drop off prizes and act as a guardian for a student. Harris met with Cassell again and was given a two-week suspension.
"I asked her if she could please tell me what I did wrong to come to the first meeting," Harris said. "After I asked that question twice, she never gave me an answer — then she fired me."
On Tuesday, Harris said: "I didn't tell the kids, 'Let's go and do it anyway.' I was actually, literally, in the process of talking to my kids about what we could do instead when Cassell requested the meeting with me and told me that I needed to let it go."
Cassell said she couldn't discuss personnel matters, but that she wanted students to focus on learning, not activism."I'm a child of the civil rights movement," Cassell said. But "this is not the time in the school year" to distract students from academics. "In every situation, there are work rules," she said. "When rules are violated, there are consequences."
SOURCE: Detroit News