Search

***Fargo, ND: STUDENT BEHAVIOR #1 ISSUE IN SCHOOLS; "Violence is epidemic"

May 26, 2019, Fargo (ND) Inforum: Zaleski: An epidemic of violence in the classroom https://www.inforum.com/opinion/columns/1350628-Zaleski-An-epidemic-of-violence-in-the-classroom When the number one issue in teacher contract negotiations is student behavior in the classroom, the situation cannot be minimized. When teachers rank salary and benefits second to their personal safety on the job, administrators and school board members better pay attention. When reports of documented and anecdotal violence against teachers stir enmity between parents and teachers, a bedrock principle of successful public education is under assault, and everyone who values public schools should take notice. To hear teachers from Fargo (and other districts) tell it, classroom violence is epidemic. It’s no longer merely the smart-mouth kid who kicks over a chair or shouts out an obscenity and is sent to the vice principal’s office. That kind of thing was always manageable. Today’s classrooms with their mainstreamed populations of special needs students have become socially engineered danger zones, made so in part by parents who make unrealistic demands, and are quick to threaten schools with legal action if demands are not met immediately. Add one-size-fits-all laws and regulations that prevent teachers and administrators from removing violent kids from the classroom, and the results are not pretty. Special needs kids don’t get the specialized help they need. The education of the other students is disrupted daily and therefore attenuated over the course of a school year. Teachers dare not protect themselves by restraining a violent kid for fear of legal sanctions that could end a career. Parents of special needs children rightfully want the best possible classroom education and socialization for their kids. They expect schools to have in place protocols and staff to deal with occasional violence and other out-of-control behavior. … In the tapestry of public education, the thread most frayed over this issue is the indispensable relationship between parents and teachers. The unfolding conflict over violent special needs students will not be addressed sanely if parents and teachers are at odds. …