Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Violence against teachers

CEA, the state's largest teachers' union, unveiled a plan for education reform today. Many were perhaps surprised to find proposals that would, at least on their face, ramp up teacher accountability and make it easier to fire under-performing teachers.
It also seeks to protect them, and not from prosecution or dismissal, but from physical violence.
Citing statistics that say, in Connecticut, violence against school staff is happening more often than nationally,
"In 2009-10, there were 836 reported incidents of physical altercations, fighting, or battery directed against certified school staff. In 2010-11, the number grew to 1,021. In addition, there were 507 reports of physical aggression against other, non-certified staff, including substitute teachers during that same school year."
the report suggests strengthening existing penalties for principals who do not report incidents of violence to the police, in defiance of state law, and offer teachers the same legal protections afforded to nurses, social workers and bus drivers.
The law, you see, "does not have any enforcement mechanism, and thus it is often ignored by administrators, leaving teachers without any real recourse," the report says, and the teachers — sometimes good ones, who feel threatened and fear repercussions, choose to leave the profession rather than address the issue with police.

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