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Violence against teachers on the rise

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:06AM



Teens: One of the saddest of contemporary trends in our schools is the proliferation of violence — against not only students, but also teachers — in the classrooms and corridors. This is the inevitable spillover of an increasingly violent society. Indeed, the once-shocking spectacle of students attacking teachers is becoming a common occurrence.

For instance, a 17-year-old student severely beat a teacher who was trying to break up a fight at a high school in a California upscale community. The teacher suffered a dislocated finger, chipped elbow and bruises on the face and body. The words that echoed throughout the shocked community afterward were, “This shouldn’t happen here.” But it’s happening everywhere. Violence and threats of violence to teachers are on the rise across the country.

How should we discipline a student who physically attacks a teacher? Should the student be suspended, expelled, prosecuted? This school district took the matter very seriously and filed felony charges against the attacker. If convicted, he faces up to three years and eight months in a state youth facility.

The school district could take the action it did because in California, as in some other states, it’s a felony to physically attack a teacher. All 50 states should have such a law. A growing number are, indeed, considering one.

Write to Dr. Wallace
at rwallace@galesburg.net



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