One Year Later: MPS teacher's aide fired for student take-down sends message to educators
A matter of seconds cost Jasmine Pennix everything.
Now, he's urging other teachers to not let what ruined his life, happen to them.
"Teachers stand up," he said. "Stop sitting there being afraid, stop letting MPS bully you. Stand up for your rights."
Eight days after filing a federal civil lawsuit against the district over his firing, the Department of Public Instruction wrote a letter to Pennix about revoking his license. He said they offered it back to him with stipulations.
"Sign this paper saying you want your license back and stop harassing us," he said.
Seeing the choices of youth in the community attracted Pennix to the classroom. He wanted to have a positive influence on students, not be forced to defend himself against one.
The violent push and restraint of a 14-year-old in April 2016 is in response to what he said, you don't see on the video.
"Once he spits on me, he kicks me in my shin," he said. "Then after that, you saw what you saw on the tape because he made the second attempt to kick me one more time."
Pennix said Milwaukee police told him the student had just gotten out of juvenile detention for a crime committed two days before. He said me he also found out from officers the student has a prior arrest record.
"He had no business being there," said Pennix." Why'd you sit there and keep him enrolled in the school if he missed 65 days out of the school year?"
The 40-year-old doesn't agree with what happened, but said it's not his fault.
In the lawsuit, Pennix is claiming he "was never provided official training" "to handle violent, criminal students," and says that two calls to school security that day went unanswered.
He said he saw a therapist four times and wants MPS to pay for his pain and suffering.
"MPS you caused me emotional damage. You changed my life forever, because you wouldn't go about your job and doing the right thing," he said." You put me in harms way like you put other staff members in harms way."
Pennix has no plans to return to the classroom. He's now in the trucking business, driving across the country.
We asked the school district to respond to Pennix's lawsuit claims, but officials told us they don't comment on pending litigation.