Detroit, Education — July 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

Detroit EAA admins make Brooke Harris’s pretermination hearing closed to the public & move venue


So much for “PUBLIC” schools…

As I wrote about earlier in the week, Brooke Harris, the teacher fired from a Pontiac charter school for helping students organize a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin, is about to be fired again. This time, it appears to be because of her outspokenness about the poor learning environment in Education Achievement Authority (EAA) schools in Detroit.

What was originally an open “pretermination hearing” was scheduled for tomorrow. However, the hearing has now been closed to the public and moved to a new venue.

The hearing is tomorrow, July 15th at 9 a.m. The new venue is:

2500 Fisher Building
3011 West Grand Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48202-3030

Brooke tells me that she has invited 12 witnesses to testify on her behalf. One of her witnesses is a parent of one of her students and another will present testimony on behalf of a student who wishes to remain anonymous.

“I’m sure more students and parents would support me,” Brooke said, “But the EAA has banned me from contact with students and staff. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to mount a decent defense (since I feel like I’m on trial) without being able to reach out to the people I taught and worked with.”

The hearing was initially open to the public but school officials decided to close it. When Brooke challenged them, saying it was a violation of the Open Meetings Act, they changed the pretermination hearing to an “Information Gathering Hearing” which is not covered by the Open Meetings Act.

The Fisher Building DOES, however, have a significant amount of public space around it so, if you’re interested in showing up to support Brooke, that is most definitely an option. People are discussing where to park, etc. in this thread on Facebook.