Brooke Harris, a teacher from Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School in Michigan, was fired after helping students organize a fundraiser for slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin's family.
According to the Associated Press, Harris helped students set up a wear-a-hoodie-to school day in memory of Trayvon Martin, who had been wearing a hoodie when he was shot to death on Feb. 26. Harris is claiming that because of her involvement with the fundraiser she was fired.
The Michigan teacher is stating that she is confused over her dismissal from the school. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Harris should not have been dismissed, and are petitioning for her to be reinstated.
Unfortunately, I can't give you more details, said Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell to the Detroit Free Press, but I can say that the reasons that are cited have never been an issue for any termination.
According to the group, students asked Harris if they could do a fundraiser where they would pay $1 to wear hoodies instead of their school uniform. The school denied the students request, even though previous fundraisers gave students a chance to not wear their uniforms.
Harris was originally suspended from the school because she encouraged students to make their request [for the fundraiser] in person. I'm a child of the civil rights movement, said Cassell. But this is not the time in the school year. Cassell said the fundraiser would be a distraction.
After being suspended the teacher was then fired for coming to the school during her suspension. According to the Associated Press, the teacher said she only went to school to drop off prizes for her students. I was told I was a bad teacher, that I was being unprofessional, that I'm being paid to teach, not to be an activist, Harris told the Detroit Free Press. I want my job back, continued Harris, but I'm not entirely sure if that's even possible.
Cassell said that rules need to be followed. In every situation, there are work rules. When work rules are violated, there are consequences.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Cassell, who has worked for the school district that past three years, is stepping down after the current school year.