Jennifer Mitts has been a high school teacher for over a decade, many of those years at Red Bank High School in Red Bank, Tennessee. However, Ms.Mitts is now out of a job for an action many consider to be noble. Beyond that, she says that she was forced to resign from her job, as WTVC NewsChannel 9 reports.
So what did Ms. Mitts do? She brought her 20-year-old student to an emergency room and then covered the cost of her medical treatment. As to what the treatment was, there is no word, but when school officials learned about it, they weren’t happy. Hamilton County human resources says that this wasn’t the first time she had paid for a student’s medical bills and that she had already been asked to cease doing it.
WTVC writes that after learning of Mitts’ seemingly kind deed, “They then dictated to her what she should write in the resignation letter, including forcing her to waive her right to a hearing." It appears the student body and residents of Red Bank are in her corner. However, the school says that Mitts isn’t telling an accurate story.
The Hamilton School Board provided WTVC with a list of infractions that Mitts had piled up over her tenure, including, “3 written reprimands, 2 oral reprimands, and a 5 day suspension.” There was no context given as to what she had done to deserve those reprimands or suspension. Aside from that the school board said they never told Mitts she had to resign, but that rather she was only facing a suspension.
Mitts has 400 signatures on a petition to reinstate her, and is planning to file a lawsuit against the school board. WTVC spoke with people who were mostly sympathetic to her cause. Parent Ashley Gonzales put it succinctly, “Honestly if it was my child and we couldn't afford it out of pocket, I hope there would be somebody that would do that for us.”