Workplace violence Educational

Teachers face threats, physical violence: report

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Washington – Threats of physical violence from students can result in teachers becoming discontented with the profession – and sometimes quitting it altogether, according to a newly released report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics.

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015 relied on data from various sources, including the National Crime Victimization Survey, the School Survey on Crime and Safety, and the School and Staffing Survey, among others. About 51,100 public school teachers and 7,100 private school teachers were surveyed in 2011-2012. The document addresses subjects such as teacher injuries, student victimizations and bullying.

“Students are not the only victims of intimidation or violence in schools,” the report notes.

During the 2011-2012 school year, 9 percent of teachers reported that a student threatened them with injury – a slight increase from the findings of previous surveys (7 percent in 2003-2004 and 2007-2008) but down from 12 percent in 1993-1994. However, 5 percent of teachers reported that a student had physically attacked them – higher than in any previous survey year. In addition, more female teachers (6 percent) than male teachers (4 percent) said they were physically attacked.

Data shows the threat is higher for public school teachers: During the 2011-2012 school year, 10 percent reported being threatened with injury by a student, compared with 3 percent of private school teachers. Similarly, 6 percent of public school teachers said they had been physically attacked, compared with 3 percent of teachers in private schools.

“Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved, but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community,” the report states.

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