Nov 17, 2018, Eugene (OR) Register Guard: Violent student behaviors on the rise, officials say https://www.registerguard.com/news/20181117/violent-student-behaviors-on-rise-officials-say Extreme student behaviors are on the rise. Just ask officials from any of the three main school districts in the Eugene-Springfield metro area. In the last three years, Bethel, Eugene and Springfield school districts - along with their counterparts across the state - have seen the frequency and intensity of violent, threatening or disruptive behaviors steadily increase, especially at the elementary level, district officials say. Teachers, educational assistants and other school staff in the three local districts have reported students throwing chairs at windows, hitting, kicking and biting staff and other students, yelling obscenities and, in some cases, breaking glass or leaving teachers with concussions or other serious injuries, according to educators and their union representatives. For example, some teachers wear protective gear on their arms to help guard against being bitten, and shin guards for when they’ll inevitably be kicked, said Tyler Whitmire, a Eugene district classified union representative from the Oregon School Employees Association. … “It’s a physically hazardous environment,” said Lima, who also is a retired teacher of 25 years. “Students are throwing furniture in the common areas, pushing, shoving and striking students and physically assaulting staff members. Because most staff have not received the required restraint training, we are precluded from stopping these incidents, we can only stand by and shield other students with our bodies.” Behavioral incidents and violence against teachers appears to be a national problem, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which has reported that 10 percent of public school teachers say they were threatened with injury by a student during the 2015-16 school year, the most recent year for which the data was compiled. … Not only do student behaviors result in injuries, they also disrupt class and keep other students from learning, education officials say. That’s because extreme behaviors often prompt room clears, during which everyone except for the student experiencing such behaviors leaves the room. Sometimes the room clears are done as a safety precaution after a student becomes so out of control or violent that teachers need to move other students to the hallway or another classroom. David Barnes, a longtime teacher at River Road/ El Camino del Rìo Elementary School, told board members during the October meeting that in the first 29 days of school there were 25 room clears in his classroom. That figure excluded the number of times other classes of children were moved into his room to clear another. … Eugene School District Superintendent Gustavo Balderas, during a Nov. 7 school board meeting, said that there’s been a “spike in behavioral concerns within our school walls across the country, which we have seen the impact of in our schools here and around Oregon.” Though local educators agree that behavioral incidents have increased significantly in Eugene-Springfield schools over the last two years, it appears area schools may have trouble tracking the problem. … “Every district is dealing with this in their own way,” Gill said. … To kick off the meeting, officials asked attendees a couple of questions about classroom safety and asked them to input answers through their phones. When attendees were asked whether they felt their school have adequate resources to support safe, welcoming and inclusive classrooms, 89 percent of those who responded said no. In addition, 69 percent of those who responded to the question said they had experienced at least one room clear so far this school year. … Although Wednesday’s meeting was hosted by the state teachers union, Gill said his presence would allow him to better understand the issues educators are facing in Oregon and work with Gov. Kate Brown and the Legislature to develop potential solutions. “Parts of this are symptoms of many years of under funding our schools,” Gill said. “We have fewer resources and support for a growing issue.”
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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