Skip to comments.Why is Violence Against Teachers Being Covered Up?
Posted on 10/07/2013 5:30:04 AM PDT by Kaslin
Baltimore teacher Jeff Slattery struggles with fear every day. He literally has to force himself out the door as he heads to his classroom. In December 2010 at Baltimore Community High School Slattery stopped a student without a hall pass. The student got physical. Slattery let him go.
"He walked down the hallway, I turned around and went back to my classroom and he came up from behind me and once I was on the ground, he's basically standing on top of me. He struck me multiple times. When my jaw broke, I went unconscious and I don't remember anything after that." The Social Studies teacher later learned it took four teachers to pull the student off him. Slatterys broken jaw was wired shut for weeks.[i]
Slattery's assault by a student was just one of seven hundred that school year in Baltimore City Public Schools where its own data shows an average of four school personnel were assaulted each day in 2010. That average has held true through the past five school years with a total of nearly four thousand assaults by students on personnel -- with increases in the last two years.[ii] Baltimore is one of the relatively few systems that have regular reports on such incidents.
Teachers across the country are experiencing alarmingly high rates of student violence and harassment while at school. Yet, there are surprisingly few studies of the numbers and frequency of these incidents. The reporting requirements at the school, local, state and national level are either non-existent or routinely ignored. The anemic official response to the increasing pattern of violence puts teachers in position of being victimized by the system rather than protected by it. In fact, the teachers union response to the Slattery attack in Baltimore was simply to encourage teachers to voluntarily fill out a form if they get attacked.
One of the few research articles conducted on this important topic was published earlier this year in the American Psychological Association's journal, American Psychologist.[iii] The APA research found only 14 published studies that have bothered to examine violence directed at teachers in schools. The APA study found that 80 percent of the teachers they surveyed reported being victimized at school at least once in the then-current or prior year. Of those, 94 percent said they had been victimized by students including being physically attacked, harassed, or victims of theft or property damage at school.
Governors should lead the charge to demand more comprehensive and accurate reporting of this threat to teachers as well as prompt punishment for offenders in order to provide teachers and their students with a safe working environment. The teachers unions should be demanding action, yet there is mostly silence from those who loudly claim to represent the interests of teachers who are being assaulted daily in American classrooms.
Some reporting requirements are already in place but are obviously ineffective. School violence directed at teachers is grossly underreported, with official national records claiming only 7% of teachers have been subjected to threats or violence.[iv] Other reports indicate a number much higher -- in the 15-25% range. Even at 7% there would be about a quarter million teachers subjected to threats and violence each year!
Additionally, there is clearly an effort to hide the problem, whether it is the direct or indirect efforts of principals to discourage teachers from leaving a paper trail, the threat of reprisal that intimidates teachers into silence, or bureaucrats who reduce the number of reported incidents and then claim the threats and violence are receding simply because there is a lack of punishment. For example, in 2012 the Bibb County, GA school system dramatically reduced its use of evidentiary hearings that lead to expulsions, suspensions and other tough punishments for students with repeated discipline problems. One result is that more of these students remained in the classroom, often creating difficulties for teachers and other students.[v]
Bibb County claimed that the number of evidentiary hearings for student misconduct had dropped from 772 during the 2010-11 school year to just 116 during the 2011-12 school year and showed progress in protecting teachers. Expulsions dropped from 223 to 28, and permanent expulsion and corporal punishment were eliminated!
So things are better in Bibb County, right? Not according to teachers and administrators who say they have been discouraged from -- or even punished -- for sending students to the office or requesting disciplinary hearings. They are not just fearful of their students; they also fear retaliation from principals and school officials for speaking up! Safe Havens International, a consulting firm hired by Bibb County to evaluate school safety, determined there was a pervasive problem of underreporting the violence and threats targeted at teachers.[vi]
The numbers of reported incidents in Bibb County HAVE gone down.[vii] But is it because the schools are safer for teachers or because the actual level of violence is being covered up and underreported? The same pattern is seen all across the country violence is up but the official reports tell another story.
Children cannot learn in an environment of fear. When the authority figures in our schools are abused and threatened with impunity, kids do not feel protected and lose their focus and their respect for the system that cannot even protect the adults. It is past time for our nations Governors to ensure that our schools are safe environments for learning, which means addressing this largely hidden crisis in our schools. Covering up the problem wont fix it.
Because “minority” students are a more-favored group even than unionized teachers. Think it through, people ...
There was a woman that called into a local morning radio show this morning. You could gather that she was black after a while.
She kept asking the host to tell her why inner city schools got less funding and subsequently a lower quality education than the suburban schools.
The host informed her that inner city schools actually received 15k per student compared to 12k per student in the suburbs, and he pointed out that the different in education level was due to the difference in family culture, and gave examples from teachers who’ve taught in both.
The women then asked again why the urban schools were getting less funding.
I truly believe there is no solution to the political divide short of an actual political separation.
why are attacks on white people being covered up?
Why don’t the media tell the race of violent thugs?
The list is endless.
Well, aren’t you the pasty-faced little racist. < /SARC>
And it will only get worse, especially against the white teachers. The ObowelMovement Administration has protested the disproportionate use of school punishments against black students so the dog whistle has been out for several months now.And these teen thugs know that they run the show.
They don’t come much pastier!
Yep. Just ask any Asian public school student in Philadelphia, for example.
It’s just another form or ‘teaching’... Teaching these ‘Thug-lites’ in how to become Full-time Thugs.
The solution is to just not work in those schools. It’s better to be a substitute in a decent school/district than deal with that.
Inner-city schools get higher per-pupil funding, smaller class sizes, and lower density in the urban district near us, too. All the resource inputs just seem to vanish before they make an impact on student achievement.
The problem is not just the culture and disinterest of the students, but also the ideology of the system, which refuses to teach basic skills using tried-and-true methods. In this population, parents can’t or won’t teach the children to read and multiply if the school doesn’t. The deliberate waste of resources and human potential is incalculable.
I am supposed to feel sorry for them?
The have brought it on themselves.
We should return to the city/county schools systems and tell the feds to stuff it.
In the past, we had “reform schools” where unruly students were sent. But use of such these days would be deemed racist.
In some cases the teachers don't help. One of my daughters is an assistant principal in a high school on CO.
A teacher there was hit by a student but the teacher refused to press charges or participate at all in the discipline process.
They managed a suspension, not expulsion, and no police were brought in. Any doubt what the 'message' is there?
When the regular schools kept reasonable discipline, the “incorrigible” population was statistically insignificant. Now, they couldn’t build enough reform schools for the percentage of students, in many districts, who are disruptive and/or violent.
Not everyone can handle modern civilization.
I believe a lot more WOULD “handle” modern civilization if they weren’t allowed to NOT handle modern civilization.
IE, get rid of the “diversity is good” assumption.
> The ObowelMovement Administration has protested the disproportionate use of school punishments against black students so the dog whistle has been out for several months now.
Disproportionate? Really? Maybe its because they disproportionatelly commit the number of offenses / crimes. I think I read a statistic awhile back that blacks are more than 50 times more likely to commit violent crimes than whites. What does that tell you?
Troublemakers in inner city schools should be separated from the regular school population as soon as possible and put in isolator schools. In these isolator schools, the troublemakers would face tough discipline but still be expected to adhere to the school rules. In all honesty, many of the kids are uneducable. If they exhibit further signs of not being able to be civilized, they should be expelled. Society does children no good by forcing kids who want an education to sit in unruly classrooms with kids who can never be educated.
Payback is a bitch, isn’t it?
The Teaching “Profession” has been in the forefront of pandering to these thugs and refusing to take direct firm action against perpetrators since I was in school decades ago. Rather, they use the “punish all of them and the good students will pressure the thugs” philosophy.
OBVIOUSLY that doesn’t work. But when you are a politically correct leftists, facts and common sense never get in the way of theory.
Exactly! What a bunch of morons.
Their unions act against them by supporting more illegals to enter the nation. They act against them by not supporting better protections on the job. They act against them by supporting a party whose members will tax them more.
Such a deal...
SEIU, enablers to the abusing students on campuses near you...
Why? Because it is being perpetrated by black yutes on white teachers. A non-story as far as the usual media suspects are concerned.
Scottie Hughes needs to look up the word "literally".
Bingo, there it is. And the reason is that the administrators have their mush brains stuffed full of "there just misunderstood and disadvantaged" bullshit, and they only stick around for a couple of years before jumping ship to screw things up on a higher level, so they never have to deal with the messes they leave behind.
I have a friend who is teacher. She got a new student last week out of the blue. Come to find out he had been transferred from another class for threatening to kill the teacher. Not one word of his history came to her as it might "change how she treats him". This kid has a criminal record, a probation officer, and is probably only in school for free food and to sell drugs. Another student was eating in class, was told to stop, put the food away, and 30 seconds later was back at it again. Food was taken away, disciplinary meeting scheduled, parents got involved, claimed the teacher didn't like their daughter. Long story short the administration threw the teacher under the bus.
Black on white and other non-black crime is increasing astronomically.
Its is a direct result of the most dis-uniting President in American history and his black racist administration, ESPECIALLY that black racist in chief Eric Holder.
We will be facing three more years of this racist bastard in the White House and the escalating consequences unless the GOP impeaches him after the 2014 elections.
There is no solution, and the pin will be pulled on the social grenade when (not if) the EBT / SNAP program implodes. Which might happen in November if Obama refuses to budge on the debt limit, and then he pulls the plug on “entitlement” payments out of spite, the way that he closed the national parks. As long as he can blame it on the evil Republicans, he may be willing to smash the entire house of cards to the ground. Then, the only “solution” will be rule by emergency decree or even martial law.
“When the music stops: how America’s cities may explode in violence”
See 30. I’m getting this suggestion from many directions, your call was one of them.
Did you say Baltimore? Getting closer to an explanation now.
Because the leftist establishment doesn’t want to admit that minority students don’t want to learn, that they are undisciplined, unable to restrain themselves, love immediate gratification, and lack the mental capacity to adjust to civilization.
Could be because it’s an obvious move, and we also understand Obama’s personality by now.
I teach computer science at a state university. In the last two years, I’ve had three new students who already had a BS in Math Secondary Ed come back to get their BS in Computer Science. Why? Because they couldn’t put up with the lawlessness in the [inner city] schools to which they had been assigned. One of them is a man (about 6 ft tall) who was actually stabbed. The student who stabbed him only got a 3 day suspension. Basically, the inmates are running the asylum.
Public education. God help us.
And cue the Pharisees with the broad brush comments about all teachers all schools
Funding has little to do with the situation. You could increase or decrease the funding level by 5X and get the same result.
Don’t have to think it through, you are exactly right.
The greatest problem with education today is that it is a right and not a privilege.
You cannot expel a kid and get rid of the problem it isn’t allowed.
Kids that should be locked up in a reform school are selling dope and beating teachers and graduating even though they cannot read.
They are keeping other students from learning, and holding back kids who want to learn.
If they are black the problem is even more severe.
If the school were allowed to expel the troublemakers the problem would resolve itself in days. Most of those kept in schools without expulsion are losers who will never amount to anything anyway . Why allow them to keep others from learning?
Is there any reason these teachers don’t carry mace? One shot of that stuff and let’s see how many more attacks we get. Rabies of the soul is rampant in the cities of America.
If this teacher beaten by this child were George Zimmerman we would have another Trayvon on our hands.
A 17 year old boy can be a dangerous animal under the right circumstances. They aren’t children when they are in a killing mood they are wild animals.
Exactly - it’s a cultural issue. But this woman, and probably everyone she knows, doesn’t want to address the cultural issue.
I remember reading about a public school in a large Southern city (Atlanta?) where the principal informed all the students’ parents that they would be expected to come and get their children if the children misbehaved. Very quickly, most of behavior problems ceased. When the free daycare was threatened, the parents got the children into line.
This was an elementary school, though. By junior high or high school, some students are simply beyond their parents’ control.
Pansy. Maybe address the student on student violence first and the rest will come out in the wash.
I’m going to write something about the chance of the music stopping in November.
If we think Obama is dialing up the pain over closing the parks, we haven’t seen anything yet compared to his cutting off the entitlement checks.
Scottie Hughes needs to look up the word "literally".
Well, he does use his muscles to create a force against the floor which propels his body out the door, so technically he's right. But, we all force ourselves out the door in this manner.
Public schooling. There’s no excuse for it, nor for participating in it. Inner city, rural, teaching, or sending your children there. Inexcusable.
Going back in after a student breaks your jaw: insane.
Somebody watched one too many Sidney Poitier movies.
This shows part of what St. Trayvon of the Skittles (SBUH) would have done if he’s not been appropriately exterminated. He’d have murdered Zimmerman and made his first bones.
It's not just a problem of adhering to rules, although that's a big issue. We also have schools filled with special needs kids who have been mainstreamed. When you have classrooms with a high percentage of youngsters with learning disabilities, attention disorders, prenatal drug and alcohol exposure, or low overall intellectual capacity, teachers really have their hands full. There was a time when these children with special challenges were in special schools or special classes within regular schools. Under current laws, they are placed in the least restrictive environment.
I've taught in both the inner city and the suburbs, and both types of schools have this challenge. The degree of it varies, as do the conduct issues and home support. Either way though, I have found myself with classes in which a large percentage of the students were reading well below the level required to understand the text book, and who had processing issues that prevented them from understanding content at a passing level. Failing them is rarely acceptable, so teachers twist themselves into pretzels creating filler assignments and curving the tests to keep kids 'passing'.
In the inner city schools we have a higher percentage of all these troubled children - disabilities, poor home environment, thuggish conduct, etc. My experience with it was that below the 'honors' level, most of my students could not legitimately pass a grade-level test in high school science. In the suburbs, all except the lowest track youngsters could do so. As a teacher and parent, it is very frustrating and very concerning.
There is a lot said about class size, and that too is a factor. The impact of class size is greatest when you have all these mainstreamed and troubled youth. I've taught as many as 37 students in a science class. It was fine, but they were very good kids. I've also had 35 inner city kids, most of whom were low level or had outright disabilities. It was a nightmare, and I was very relieved when I was able to transfer out of the school. My efforts were largely futile, and I didn't feel safe.