DETROIT (WWJ) In the wake of a scandal about a classroom incident that made national headlines, the Education Achievement Authority has hired a public relations handler.
WWJ’s Vickie Thomas confirmed Mario Morrow will leave Gov. Rick Snyder’s team, where he’s currently the manager of community outreach, and join the EAA as director of communications.
The EAA is a state initiative to take over Detroit’s most under performing schools and put them in their own district. Students in the 15 EAA schools, all formerly members of the Detroit Public Schools district, have an extended school year, and receive more individualized instruction.
The EAA was widely considered to have mishandled an April 30 incident at Pershing High School where a teacher was fired after she used a broomstick to try to break up a violent fight between two teenage boys. After a public outcry, Tiffani Eaton’s job was reinstated.
The plan called for Eaton to receive retroactive pay from the date of her dismissal and will have the option of being assigned to another school within the district, if she chooses.
Eaton has so far refused to just walk back into the classroom. The fight was captured on cell phone video that was posted online and viewed thousands of times. The video shows the boys slugging it out in a ninth-grade classroom, knocking over desks as classmates scream in horror.
The video also shows Eaton – who is smaller than both boys – hitting one across his back with a broom in an attempt to stop the altercation.
Teachers have two-way radios they use to call security in cases like this, but Eaton said her radio was not working at the time.
The boys involved in the fight, ages 15 and 16, received suspensions.
Enter Morrow, who has 24 years’ experience in communication, according to his Linked In page. He has a B.A. Michigan State University-Elementary Education; M.A. Wayne State University- Education Administration/Leadership.
Morrow did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment on his new role.