Swartz Creek Teacher’s Altercation With Student is Not Grounds for Dismissal [OPINION]
The fate of a Swartz Creek High School teacher hangs in the balance after an altercation with a student. More than 100 parents and students attended a school board meeting last night (4/11) to show their support for Shawn Fitzgerald.
The incident occurred about a month ago in Fitzgerald's classroom. 'Fitz' as he's known to students is the strength and conditioning coach. Reports indicate that an unruly student was the first one to make physical contact after he was asked to leave the classroom. The student left the high school in an ambulance.
Freshman Kristina Zerka tells WJRT that she witnessed part of the altercation.
"This kid had walked in there, and I had never seen him before. He had walked in and Fitz, seemed to have a relationship with him, and something happened that I didn't see. I think he (Fitzgerald) said he (the student) touched him or something happened,” Zerka said.
Kelly Paulsen is one of the parents who spoke in Fitzgerald's defense.
"He's been through enough. You've already punished him. You suspended and defamed his character by what he thought what he was doing was right,” Paulsen said.
The school board has yet to determine Fitzgerald's employment status.
I'd certainly be open to hearing your opinion. As a resident of the Swartz Creek school district, I've heard and read numerous accounts of the altercation between Mr. Fitzgerald and the student, and most -- if not all -- seem to indicate that Fitzgerald's actions were viewed as self-defense and therefore justified. I'm aware that everything that is posted on social media can't be taken as gospel, but there seems to be overwhelming support for Fitz's actions. IMO, terminating him would not be in the students' best interest.