Teacher Assault is Becoming More and More Common in Our Schools – Enough is Enough

teacher assault in schools cover image

Misbehaving students is nothing new to teachers. After all, they spend the better part of their lives with kids from all walks of life. And they welcome each and everyone with open hearts and a will to make sure they improve in one way or another every day.

There was a time when parents recognized this and showed teachers the respect they deserve for the impossible tasks they take on every day. There was a time when the teacher warning a student to call home would be enough to get them back in line. There was a time when teachers did call home that parents made sure that was the last time their child misbehaved again in school. There was a time when children were raised to respect their elders, especially the ones who care so much about them the way teachers do.

That time has faded. Nowadays, misbehavior and lack of respect has evolved into a much more serious situation.

Maryland teacher Annie Demczak took to her Facebook status this week addressing this issue with some powerful words. She delivered a PSA to all teachers – new and experienced, to all parents, and to all friends and family of teachers, that was so moving, it’s been shared over 106,000 times in the last 4 days! Here’s why…

We tell women (and men) that if someone hits you, screams at you, tells you that they’re going to kill you, tells you they’re going to bring a gun and shoot you, steals from you, destroys your things, threatens your friends, curses at you, mocks you, makes fun of your physical appearance, GET HELP. RUN AWAY. IT IS NOT OKAY. LEAVE THE ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. CUT TIES.
YET when a student does any of the above to a teacher, we don’t acknowledge it as a red flag, we give them no consequences, we allow it to continue without any regard to a teacher’s well-being, safety or mental health.
In such toxic situations, we continue to ask teachers to show up with a smile on their face, ignore the issues, reward dangerous and toxic behavior and do as you’re told.
Teaching is the most toxic profession I know of.
I am so SICK and disgusted of seeing young, fresh, energetic, bubbly, WONDERFUL teachers think that being assaulted at their workplace is OKAY.
I am so SICK and disgusted of seeing experienced, wise, INCREDIBLE seasoned teachers think that being assaulted at their workplace is OKAY.
I love all my students. I love the students with trauma. I love the students with mental illness. I love the difficult students. I love the violent students….
because I’m a teacher and my heart is made of glitter and marshmallows and happiness and rainbows. Loving little people with abandon is what I freaking do.
But sometimes, loving someone looks like setting boundaries. Consequences. Hard conversations. Seeking additional support. Reporting dangerous behavior. Standing your ground. Finding alternative placements.

-Annie Demczak | Facebook

Apparently she’s not alone in her thoughts. She goes on to urge teachers who are in this situation to put their foot down. That this is not okay, and we can’t keep letting it happen, no matter how hard it is to confront, no matter how many ways we’ve tried to get it to stop. It all starts at home, teachers need support from parents, friends, administration, and society.

Stop worrying if you’re tenured.
Stop saying “they’re just kids”.
Stop being scared of the parents or of administration.
Stop wondering if you should tell someone.
Stop giving up because no one will do anything.
Stop thinking you should be PHYSICALLY assaulted and VERBALLY berated at your job.
Stop thinking that having intense anxiety and depression surrounding your workplace is NORMAL.
It is not okay. This is not what we signed up to do.
You are a wonderful, caring, amazing person who has the biggest heart for wanting to help little people….
but don’t you dare think that it is OKAY to be ABUSED and TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF at your workplace.
We would never tolerate it in any other area of our lives. This is no different.
If you have teacher friends, check on them.
If you’re a parent, please ask your child EVERY DAY what happened at school that day. Please speak up for the well-being of teachers. We are trying so damn hard for your kids. You are more powerful than you realize. You can help protect our teachers. You have the power to call our school systems to something better.
We have GOT to do better.
Teachers, you’re amazing and when I leave the classroom, I will still always have your back for as long as I live.

-Annie Demczak | Facebook

If you’re a teacher who deals with physical or verbal assault in school, this viral Facebook goes to show that you’re not alone. Reach out to your coworkers, your friends, and your family. No one deserves to be treated that way, BY ANYONE, especially a student. We’ve got your back, too.

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Teacher Assault is Becoming More and More Common in Our Schools - Enough is Enough

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