July 15, 2018, Vancouver Star: Reports by teachers’ unions on violence in classrooms risk stigmatizing those with disabilities, say parents https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/07/12/reports-by-teachers-unions-on-violence-in-classrooms-risk-stigmatizing-those-with-disabilities-say-parents.html Parents of students with special needs say they are worried that two recent reports framing classroom violence as a workplace safety issue for teachers could worsen the stigma around their children’s disabilities. The B.C. and Canadian teachers’ federations both issued releases last week saying in-school violence against teachers has gotten worse in recent years. In B.C. nine out of 10 teachers reported experiencing violence at work, according to BCTF president Glen Hansman. That includes everything from having things thrown at them, to being punched, spat on or bullied by students, Hansman said. Nicole Kaler’s 17-year-old daughter, Maya, used to exhibit some of those behaviours. She has autism and is non-verbal, and Kaler said she sometimes acts out when she is frustrated, overwhelmed or left unsupported. But calling her daughter’s behaviour “violence” sends entirely the wrong message, she said. “It’s not that. It’s a manifestation of her disability,” said Kaler, who lives in Surrey. “It’s a cry for help. They’re trying to communicate. No one sees it as the desperation from the child’s point of view.”… Tracy Humphreys lives in Victoria and has three children, two of whom have special needs. She said the issue of aggressive behaviour in schools is almost never one of intentional violence. It results from a lack of support for all students, not just those with special needs, and a lack of training and resources for teachers….