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Teacher Caught on Video Attacking Seventh Grade Student; Student Fights Back

By Nigel Boys

Although videos which appear online of fights in schools are usually between students, one which appeared recently was between a student and a teacher and it appears the latter was the one to start the altercation.

The Daily Mail reports that Ms. Burns, a science teacher at Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School, Detroit, became infuriated when students started throwing paper at her during one of her classes. She also accused one student of calling her a “b*****,” but apparently chose the wrong student to reprimand for the outrage.

WJBK-TV reports that Burns decided to challenge who she thought had called her the derogatory name and chose Diamonique Singleton as the likely culprit, because she had apparently laughed at the comment.

”That’s when she got in front of me, saying I’m a ‘b,’ and she started calling me ‘b,’”’ Singleton told the news outlet. “And I said, ‘No, I didn’t even say that.’ She was like, ‘OK, b,’ you got me ‘f’d’ up.’”

Admitting that it was she who had laughed as another student called the teacher a “b****,” Singleton went on to say that she tried to walk away from Burns, but the teacher would not allow it. Claiming that the teacher pushed her first, the seventh-grader continued, “I pushed her hand again then she pushed me. I pushed her back and we started fighting.”

The video, which someone recorded on cell phone, reportedly shows the teacher and student standing close to each other, just before it appears that Burns starts the fight by pushing Singleton. As other students in the classroom can be heard screaming, the altercation quickly develops into a fully fledged brawl, with Burns and Singleton ending up on the floor hitting each other.

It’s unclear exactly how long the fight lasted, or if anyone suffered injuries in the altercation other than Burns and Singleton, but the video apparently shows another person trying to break up the fight, unsuccessfully.

“She put her hand on someone else’s child, without permission,” said Singleton’s sister, Shamika, adding that it was Burns who crossed the line that day.

“She lost control of her classroom,the situation, herself, everything  – she just lost control,” Shamika continued. “There are better ways to handle everything especially when it comes to a child.”

“It was a little disheartening to see that,” said Ivy Bailey, Detroit’s interim teachers’ union president. “But I do want to talk to that member to find out exactly what’s happening,” she added.

Answering her own question about if the teacher should have remained professional by showing more restraint, Bailey continued, “I can’t say because I wasn’t there and I don’t know the whole situation.”

With the recent lay-offs in Detroit Public Schools (DPS), Bailey said that teachers are under an imaginable amount of stress. “These people are at a breaking point,” she said, adding “And with all this uncertainty about whether they’re going to have a job next year…”

Singleton, who has been suspended from school and faces possible expulsion, admitted that she regrets pushing her science teacher back, “because it got me in a bad situation.”

Ms. Burns remains on the job pending the conclusion of an investigation by the DPS.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken after the completion of a thorough investigation by the department, Bailey confirmed. She added that while the incident should not have taken place, teachers are still working in tough conditions and overcrowded classrooms.

The incident is thought to have occurred sometime in the last week, but it has not been confirmed exactly when the altercation took place.


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7 thoughts on “Teacher Caught on Video Attacking Seventh Grade Student; Student Fights Back

  1. Aeesha Love

    The altercation is unacceptable. The teacher putting her hands on the girl can’t be tolerated and the disrespect from the student (evidenced by her standing in the teacher’s face) can’t accepted. The classroom sounded like a zoo! No learning can take place in such an environment. I don’t understand how this teacher is still working pending an investigation, student suspended…remember the police officer fired for his abuse of authority in S.C?

  2. Jay Cee

    Since when is it condoned for a student to push her body up against a teacher’s body and get all up in the teacher’s face? I am a retired teacher and I tell you if a student had done that to me I would have pushed her out of my face and off my body too. How dare a student disrespect a teacher in that manner. What kind of mother does she have to raise her to demonstrate that type of behavior to a teacher or any adult?

  3. watcher

    Students have no respect for someone ho is trying to teach them life skills and the students always represent their home upbringing—-Send her to reform school

  4. Keith

    Trust me. That bad ass, big mouth student pushed the teacher to the limit. Did you see here waving her finger all up in the teacher face. She needed her ass beat. There no respect for teachers at all in the classroom.

    • bb winans

      Well I guess the days teachers are treated with respect are officially over. That display of bratty behavior should not be tolerated at all. My parents told me that when they were young that the teachers had the right to beat you and after informing your parents, you got a second beating! They did not have to spell it our as to how we should behave in school. We got the hint. Any problem with the teacher was first addressed with the teacher and then my parents.

      I can just imagine the home that the girl comes from. Of course those who are coming down on the teacher have so little experience with misbehaving schools children. No wonder there are so few true professionals who stay in the profession. It is this kind of foolishness that leaves so many of our schools with so few experienced teachers because once you meet up with the conduct like this child exhibited (along with the So. Carolina girl), you flee if you can. Who in their right mind would want to be subjected to that type of foolishness for any stretch of time?

      By the way, I doubt that a white teacher would have faced such an onslaught.

  5. Anikay

    The teacher was wrong, wrong.

    It is also apparent that the kids in the science class were undisciplined.

    Why would any of them toss paper at the teacher? Instead why aren’t they trying to absorb all they can in order to escape one of the city’s most high crime zip codes?
    Why would any of them then proceed to call an ADULT a bitch? Why would Singleton admittedly laugh at the blatant disrepect instead of being ashamed, disappointed and most of all SILENT?

    All of you loud- in- your- face Christians believe that so long as a kid goes to church, has a fancy name, a cell phone, a weave (females), and cute clothes they are PERFECT. But you are not teaching them respect for themselves, manners nor the value of a education.

    These children need some serious intervention. Ask those who teach in urban America what is life like in class
    They will report kids come to school to play, drink pop, eat candy, text on their phones, all after being repeatedly told NOT to do so.. in short, they sit in class and act up, NOT at all to learn.

    Suggestion; assign the class to read aloud or to write a paragraph regarding what they have learned thus far this semester.

    Stop blaming students ignorance on teachers. Respect, character, discipline(for learning) are characteristics taught at home.


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