There is, however, a much less publicised violence and that's violence toward teachers. Recently, a teacher attempting to remove a cell phone from a student was thrown to the ground while the other students laughed and filmed the encounter. Obviously we all only have one perspective and lack most of the facts, but when do we stop making excuses for students and start protecting teachers?
Teachers are the ones on the front lines in the classroom. Teachers are the ones breaking up the fights. Why would a teacher or coach want to break up a classroom or cafeteria fight when the risks are so high? Why would a teacher want to take a phone or enforce a seat change when they could get hurt?
The reality is that teachers are the ones most poorly protected by our administrators and, at a higher level, our laws. If a student hits a teacher, they get a vacation at home and maybe a transfer. In many cases they get put back into the very same classroom with the teacher they assaulted.
Should the student get counseling? Should teachers get training in proper restraint and conflict management techniques? Absolutely, but not if the automatic responses to self defense continue to be administrative leave and termination of employment.
Teaching and learning can't happen if no one feels safe. Discipline can't exist if rules aren't enforced. Rules can't be enforced if administrators don't support AND protect their teachers.
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