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(New Zealand) Protest over lack of support for SPED students; teachers suffer attacks

May 30, 2019, Otago Daily Times: Attack leave Southland teacher with nerve damage A Southland teacher of children with special needs says she's one of many who have suffered physical attacks because of a lack of classroom support. Lou Dickson marched in the teachers' strike yesterday for more resources to help her students - and to make her work safer. She said she had been left with permanent nerve damage after a 15-year-old with severe autism punched her in the back last October…. But it's not the first time she has been injured by an agitated student. "Eighteen months ago, another (severely) autistic child lost the plot a little bit; he was over-sensitised in the room, lost it and just started punching and kicking me and just managed to get me on the side, dislocated my knee-cap and put me on crutches."… "She's at school for 32 hours a week and she gets 18 hours of teacher-aid funding, and the ministry say it's OK for her to be in my classroom with me, with two high-needs autistic boys that can kick off, and at times I have to deal with all that with no teacher aid. " She said special education students needed more teacher-aid hours, and better-designed classrooms to keep them calm and teachers and students safe.


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