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Fargo, ND: "Injuries to staff caused by students" on the rise

Updated: Jun 19, 2018

May 25, 2018, [Fargo, ND] Staff injuries caused by students up 50 percent this year for Fargo’s public schools Staff in Fargo’s public schools are being injured by students at a much higher rate this year than last year, School District records show. In the 2016-17 school year, there were 341 recorded incidents of very minor to severe injuries to staff due to student behaviors, records show. Through April 30 of this year, there have been 510 reports, a nearly 50 percent increase, records show. Superintendent Jeff Schatz said Thursday, May 24, that he expects more incidents before the school year ends June 30. The increase was not a surprise, given that the district changed its reporting process to include all injuries, from scratches and bruises to black eyes, concussions and other serious conditions…. “We see that (rising injuries caused by students) in the elementaries, we see it in the middle schools, (but) in the high schools, it’s pretty rare,” Schatz said…. At national conferences, injuries caused by aggressive student behavior “is the No. 1 thing being talked about,” Schatz said. “I have been in this business for 32 years and have never seen some of the things we’re seeing right now.” … A plan to build a $4.3 million Level 4 or Least Restrictive Environment-Setting D facility at Agassiz for kindergarten through fifth-graders with severe disabilities - including being emotionally disturbed or violent - was put on hold by the Fargo School Board Tuesday, May 22. Opposition from parents and other advocates to the two-year project helped to halt the effort…. Injuries to staff caused by students remain a sticking point in Fargo teacher contract negotiations, as well. The issue was one of several items taken to state fact-finding last year after teachers and school board negotiators failed to work through their issues at the local level. This year, teachers are seeking to have contract language included that says that Fargo Public Schools will make “a good faith effort” to provide teachers training, safety information, a say in developing policies, and a workplace free from threats of violence. … Rodenbiker said the district has designated licensed social workers to serve the comprehensive high schools and middle schools; hired 14 people for behavioral intervention; and added trauma training. Schatz said the district has spent $1.5 million on those hires and training. “We take this seriously,” Rodenbiker said, but “we don’t want to put anything into the contract until we know what will work.”

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