45 Pennsylvania teachers resign due to student violence

Screen shot: UPI

Nov. 22 (UPI) — Dozens of public school teachers in Harrisburg, Pa., resigned in recent months after complaints that students have become too violent.

The Harrisburg Education Association says at least 45 teachers quit their jobs between July and October because of what they described as a rising level of violence, and more resignations are expected.

“I have been kicked, punched, hit, scratched. I’ve had a student physically restraining me in front of my other students,” first-grade teacher Amanda Sheaffer told HEA board members Monday, according to Penn Live.

She added: “How am I meeting my students’ needs with this behavior happening? How am I supposed to have a safe, nurturing learning environment when this behavior happens?”

Several teachers said that some of the worst behavior is coming from younger students, and they need more help from school administrators, FOX 43-TV reported.

“Let’s get together, as a task force, as a community, teachers, principals and see what we can put together to actually help these children that are displaying these atypical behaviors,” HEA president Jody Barksdale said.

In a statement, the Harrisburg School District said it was, “unfortunate that our teacher organization has chosen to engage in public discourse opposed to factual and substantive discussions.”

The district also pointed out that it hired 130 direct and indirect support staff between April and August 2017, including 30 professional staff, and developed behavioral intervention programs for students, and teacher mentoring programs for educators.

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