A Georgia teacher says she is still struggling on her road to recovery three months after a brutal attack at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, by a 15-year-old student that left her hospitalized for six days.
Tiwana Turner has been a teacher for 27 years and experienced her worst day in the profession on Jan. 26 when she was attacked by a student. The teenage girl could be seen yelling, using profanity, and in Turner’s face as she was trying to call for help from the front office in the viral video. The student slapped Turner’s cellphone out of her hand as she continued to yell and use profanity.
Turner walked outside of the classroom, and the female student attempted to slam the classroom door behind her. Turner turned around and extended her arm to stop the student from closing the door. Then the two begin to push and shove each other as another teacher in a classroom across the hall intervened. The video ended with the student taking several swings at Turner and pulling her to the ground as they tussled on the floor.
The student pleaded guilty to felony assault, was sentenced to one year behind bars at a youth detention center, and will spend five years on a supervised release program, according to the Rockdale County assistant district attorney. Turner said she is still unable to return to work and still uses crutches three months later.
“She just went off and pulled me down to the floor,” said Turner to Fox 5 Atlanta. “I was in the hospital six days and the numbness was there all six days.”
Turner suffered a broken leg during the attack but has received tons of support from people she doesn’t know online and in nearby counties.
“People who don’t know me have reached out to me. Have helped me. Are praying for me. Supporting,” she said to Fox 5 Atlanta. “That kind of treatment that holds you up when you fall […] I don’t take any of it for granted.”
A GoFundMe was started to help Turner until she is able to get back on her feet. The incident started because she tried to confiscate the girl’s phone.
“The cellphones, they’re able to bring them to school. It’s becoming a huge issue. It’s like their livelihood,” she said to Fox 5 Atlanta. “You take it away, some of them go berserk.”
She also expressed how much she misses her students and wishes she could go back to work.
“I can’t go to work, I can’t see my students. I can’t do anything that I used to do. I can’t drive,” she said to Fox 5 Atlanta.
Turner also wants to see more resources available for students that are emotionally troubled.
“Hopefully she will grow from this, she will get the help she needs,” Turner said to the local station.