(Canada) Hundreds of violent, student-on-teacher attacks in elementary schools

Sept 13, 2017, Toronto Sun: Durham teachers union seeks safety funding for frontline workers Elementary teachers in Durham Region have been bit, kicked, punched, threatened with scissors and outfitted with protective clothing in more than 300 violent student-on-teacher incidents last year. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Durham local is pushing for a new “Safe Schools for All” campaign to ask the province to allocate more funding for frontline educational assistants and child and youth workers. Children as young as three years old may have been affected or witnessed the violence, according to the union....

“A teacher had her head grabbed by a student and smashed into a desk. She was off work for a long period of time with a physical injury.”

Mastin said there were obstacles in reporting last year because principals determined that, in some cases, children lacked mental capacity to intentionally harm teachers, so the attacks didn’t fit the definition of violence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.... The ETFO earlier this year called on the government to adequately fund special education programs and set up supports for children dealing with mental health issues in an attempt to curtail school violence. “The issue is that children with high-risk behaviours aren’t getting the mental health referrals and support they need,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond in January.