Should Teachers Sue Districts for Violent Assaults?
Violent assaults-The recent, violent assault on a St. Paul teacher who intervened in a fight between two Central High school students resulted in a long stay in a hospital bed and multiple head wounds, which are responsible for a constant wave of headaches, not to mention psychological trauma.
Now John Eblad is bringing a lawsuit against the St. Paul school district for not doing enough to prevent these types of assaults from occurring to him and other teachers. Could this be the beginning of a trend for teachers who work in unsafe school environments?
School District: Incident 2015
The Saint Paul school district has experienced a high rate of violence in 2015, much of which is directed toward teachers when they attempted to break up a fight among students.
Is Mr. Eblad’ legal response justified? Giving the current dangers facing teachers today, I would say that Mr. Eblad made an alarming decision. Districts across the United States cannot expect teachers to continue working in unsafe climates.
Districts expect teachers to perform too many tasks that have no relation to educating students. This includes intervening in constant fights among students. These fights occur because students don’t fear any consequences for their toxic behavior. Many school districts across the nation have even discarded the consequence of suspension: citing that students need to be in school to learn.
Students Belong in School…But!
I agree. Students belong in school. However, students who come to school for the sole purpose of disrupting the classroom, threatening other students and teachers need a sobering reminder why they come to school to school in the first place. This cannot be done by implementing soft penalties and weak compromises.
I once worked a number of years in a school who refused to suspend or expel toxic students due to the money it would lose for expelling the student, even though the student was discovered with a handgun in class. The school is no longer in existence. The state had to shut it down.
Safety for Teachers: Top Priority
Districts must consider the safety of students and teachers who are committed to the education process across America. Committed teachers come to school every day for the joy of teaching students and watching them grow academically.
Tens of thousands of students who come to school every day really care about receiving a good education. But if there are toxic students around causing upheaval, they are robbed of this great and noble desire. The unfortunate thing is that toxic students stop teachers from teaching and students form learning. This is the reason districts must take a firm stand against students who violate school polices.
Unless districts act, the problem will not go away. Teachers will continue to struggle with establishing a safe classroom environment. However, districts who place the quality of the education process above the fear of losing money will enjoy the pleasure of producing outstanding students who go on to be productive citizens for their communities.
Mr. Eblad speaks for thousands of teachers who teacher in dangerous schools where violence is an everyday occurrence. Districts across America must take notice. Something must be done.