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Teacher Fired for Finding and then Extinguishing School Fire

fire

If you can be fired for saving young children by extinguishing a school fire you can be fired for anything:

A daycare teacher in Florida was fired last week because she, of all things, put a fire out at her school.

Michelle Hammack worked at Little Temples Childcare facility in Arlington, Florida. While her students were napping last week, she smelled something burning in the school. Naturally, she went to check on the problem.

“I just leaned over and peeked around and there was a fire in the oven,” Hammack said. “I ran in there and opened it to try to put it out, and the fire alarm started going off.”

Hammack rushed back to her classroom, woke up her sleeping students, and took them outside. All other teachers in the school followed suit. After Hammack did a head count of her students, she went back into the school to make sure the fire hadn’t spread.

“When I got to the third classroom by the kitchen, I could see that it was just a contained fire in the oven,” she told the local CBS News affiliate in Jacksonville.

Hammack then grabbed a fire extinguisher, opened the oven, and put the fire out. The fire department then came to the school, inspected the then-extinguished fire, and told staff and students that they could re-enter the school.

But instead of being applauded for her handling of the fire, Hammack was fired.

“I fired her only because she left her room,” owner Olga Rozhaov said. “Even though children are sleeping, the teachers are supposed to be there.”

Like any one of us in her situation would be, Hammack is mad about being fired.

“It probably would have progressed had it not been put out before that. I didn’t start the fire. I put it out.”

But Rozhaov is standing behind her decision to fire Hammack.

“It’s not acceptable, and if anybody else does the same thing, I will fire again. I will fire them. No question,” she said.

Fortunately for Hammack, The Department of Children and Families is investigating the situation. Unless something we’re not being told about happened, you’ve got to think, or at least hope, Hammack will be getting her job back.

 

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One Response to “Teacher Fired for Finding and then Extinguishing School Fire”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    “I fired her only because she left her room,” owner Olga Rozhaov said. “Even though children are sleeping, the teachers are supposed to be there.”

    By leaving her children this teacher created another possible hazard. Having said that it must also be recognised that the situation was extraordinary. Was such a risk ( a fire in an oven) considered in the standing orders? It’s hard to recognise a risk if such a thing had never happened before.

    The risk of leaving children, albeit sleeping, is that one or more might wake up and wander into a dangerous situation.

    I wonder if there was any means of communication the teacher could have used without leaving the children. There may not have been, which then leads to something that can be learned by management and implemented to prevent this happening in future.

    I can’t smell the fire but I can smell scapegoating as I have smelled the stench of that on many occasions.

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