‘Her Life Was Suddenly Altered’: Friend Says Georgia High School Teacher Injured In Viral Brawl with Student Is Unable to Walk

Less than a week after a Georgia teacher was captured on video in a fracas with one of her students, her friends are saying her leg and knee are so injured she will need to learn to walk again.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help the educator with her rehabilitation and hospitalization fees associated with the beatdown.

Tiwana Turner, an English language arts instructor with over 27 years in public education, is recovering in a hospital bed and contemplating the long road to recovery ahead of her. Her friends are thinking about it, too, setting up a GoFundMe to raise money to assist with the many bills associated with her getting better. So far, it has garnered over $11,000 in donations.

Tiwana Turner was injured after a scuffle with a student at Rockdale County high school on Jan. 26, 2023. (Photos: GoFundMe, video screenshot)

The Rockdale County teacher made national headlines on Thursday, Jan. 26, after her fight with a female student in her class at the Heritage High School in the Atlanta suburb.

Cellphone video shot by another student in the class shows the altercation quickly escalating after the then-substituting teacher pulls out her phone to call someone to lend support in dealing with the young lady’s rising temper. As Turner pulls out her phone, the student knocks it out of her hand, prompting the teacher to shove her.

The argument moved from the front center of the classroom over to the door frame. When the teacher walks out of the door, the student attempts to slam the door. However, Turner returns, and the two start to tussle in the doorway.

“Don’t put your hands on me,” Turner says. But the teen is already seeing red and ready to match energy with authority. She says, “Get your hands off me, or I’m fixing to start swinging.”

Turner does not release the student’s hands until the student breaks free and starts hitting her. The two grab each other’s hair and, after a few seconds, are both on the floor. The student fell first, bringing her teacher down over her.

The video does not capture the rest of the fight but shows the teen scooting back. News of Turner’s injuries and the student’s arrest emerged shortly after the altercation.

Turner’s friend Jean Cannon, who started the crowdfunding campaign, explains the incident, saying, “Ms. Turner was covering another class in lieu of her coworker’s absence. When Ms. Turner attempted to redirect the off-task behavior of one of the students, the student proceeded to physically attack her.”

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“During the attack, Ms. Turner was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple injuries. She is currently hospitalized with knee and leg injuries and is unable to walk. She will not be returning to work anytime soon, and she will require extensive rehabilitation and therapy,” she continued.

The video viewed by Atlanta Black Star does not show the teacher being thrown, rather, it depicts her either being pulled down or falling down.

Cannon continues saying Turner’s “life was suddenly altered,” adding, “she will require several mobility accommodations while she recovers.”

Cannon said in an update on Tuesday, Jan. 31, “This will help her continue to move towards complete healing. She really feels the love and is extremely grateful!”

Many concerned citizens and fellow educators took to the page and not only sent their money but warm wishes.

One coworker, Christopher Dills, said he is sending her his “best,” following the sentiment with, “I am so maddened by this I am having difficulty expressing my feelings.”

One person wrote, “Teachers are the backbone of this country and should be treated with respect and dignity (in the least)! I’m so sorry this happened to you, sending love and prayers for your speedy recovery.”

“Society owes you a debt for your dedication and personal sacrifice,” Christopher Ohanion wrote, “If it weren’t (sic) for teachers kids would be lost with no hope for success and society would be total chaos. Get well soon and please don’t let this child that is obviously troubled, discourage you from helping the other good kids that need you.”

The teen from the video, called “troubled” in the comments, has since been taken to a juvenile detention center. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office announced on Feb. 1 that the girl has been charged with aggravated battery.

The school district released a statement last week regarding the fight and its position on violence on campus.

“Rockdale County Public Schools is investigating an incident where a student allegedly attacked a teacher during class today,” the statement says. “RCPS does not tolerate student violence towards any staff members. Students who harm other students or staff will be disciplined according to our Student Discipline Code of Conduct and will be appropriately charged by law enforcement.”

“We will adhere to personnel and student privacy laws in this matter,” the statement concluded.

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