Flint teacher union: ‘No teacher should be afraid of coming to school’

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 7:42 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - The United Teachers of Flint union released a statement on Monday, Oct. 2 after one of its teachers was struck during a physical altercation at Southwestern Classical Academy last week.

United Teachers of Flint President, Karen Christian, said it was devastating to watch a first-year teacher be physically assaulted in her own classroom.

“The United Teachers of Flint want to go on the record and let everyone know that we will pursue all avenues to protect our teachers against every type of violence, both within and outside the classroom,” she said in the statement.

Flint Community Schools Superintendent, Kevelin Jones, said the teacher was released from the hospital the same day as the incident on Thursday, Sept. 28.

“We are deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident that transpired, where a teacher was subjected to a distressing attack by a scholar. I want to emphasize that this act of violence is unacceptable and goes against the values we hold dear in our educational community,” Jones wrote in a letter to families.

The teacher chose to return to work, according to the Superintendent.

Other students have created cards with well-wishes and other messages of support for the teacher.

The incident emphasizes Christian’s message that no teacher should be afraid of coming to school.

“Lip service will not solve this problem. We must do everything we can to protect teachers and students, address the serious mental health issues among our students, and improve pay and working conditions for educators. We refuse to allow teachers to become targets,” Christian said in her statement.

From our Flint family of members. Safety of students and staff MUST become a priority.

Posted by MEA Flint Office on Monday, October 2, 2023

“We charged a 15-year-old student as a juvenile with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony, for throwing three chairs and striking the teacher and another individual,” Genesee County Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Potbury said in statement.

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