Nowadays, many teachers are facing injustice and being attacked by teens in classrooms and school hallways regularly. While federal regulations are meant to protect students, the policies protecting educators’ rights are weak.
Last year, there was an incident during which a teacher working in a public school was assaulted. The incident was filmed and then posted on social media. From the film, it becomes clear that the victim was trying to prevent a fight between two students. Suddenly, one of the teenagers turned his anger on the educator and started to punch him in the head over and over again. Even though other teachers could save the colleague from a furious boy in a matter of seconds, they couldn’t prevent him from getting serious bodily damage and spending many days in the hospital.
Although there are safety programs in many public schools across the UK, most of them are in place to ensure student safety, not the safety of school staff members. And when someone is asked about dangerous careers that exist today, very few, if any, think of teachers. Many just don’t realize that teacher rights are prejudiced regularly and that educators, just like their students, need to be protected, too. And this issue should be addressed immediately.
It seems like school violence is currently out of control, and very little work has been done to address this issue. Today, it is not uncommon to see bloodied educators with punched faces and broken bones. According to the most recent data received by The British Psychological Society:
- Every school district witnesses 235 attacks a year;
- 12% of teachers were threatened verbally and/or injured physically last year so that they had to obtain mental health services;
- 20% of educators had been victims of physical and verbal assaults but didn’t notify about incidents to school administration;
- 14% of teachers feel so humiliated by the violence so that they prefer to keep it a secret;
- 24% of educators tell their families nothing about any incidents of violence.
It is interesting to note that there is a huge difference between the above-mentioned data and official statistics (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-018-9438-x) published by NCES. According to the latter, slightly less than 6% of educators reported a physical assault, while slightly less than 10% of educators stated that they were threatened.
How Can Teacher Rights Be Protected?
Today, educational institutions prefer to keep information about school violence a secret, mainly because it is believed that such news may affect student registration. If student enrollment declines, schools will not be able to maintain the level of funding that they get to be able to run their services on a daily basis. Every time there is any incident of violence in school, adults tend to move their kids to safer districts, and thus a decrease in student attendance is observed.
However, given the shocking statistical data, all educational institutions across the country must start responding immediately. They should focus on developing safety protocols that are meant to protect both learners and their educators from any violence. Many educational establishments have already installed video surveillance in both their classrooms and hallways to detect and monitor violent behavior. When kids know that their movements are recorded and can serve as evidence, they are less likely to start fights.
However, many schools start involving their staff members in social-emotional learning so that they can learn how to build and maintain caring relationships with teenagers. The better the teacher-student relationships, the fewer the acts of school violence.
Written by Tim Lento
Tim is a professional writer at Pro-Papers, who is happy to help students with their essays, research papers, and coursework projects. Except for academic writing, Tim is fond of producing blog posts covering various topics, and those on human rights are some of his favorite ones.