Teachers as Targets – Violence Against Teachers
When you think of school violence you likely think of the children, but what about when the school violence is directed at the teachers? Violence against teachers appears to be on the rise which is a terrifying thought since we count on teachers to protect our kids and not be the victims. Studies have found that by the year 2000, that twenty-eight out of every one thousand teachers had been the victim of a violent crime at school with just under half having been serious cases of violence.
Even with all of the measures in place to try to prevent violence in schools and keep our children safer, it’s been noted that many teachers fear for their own safety when they go to work, yet many don’t bother to report threats and acts of violence committed against them. For some it’s a matter of believing that they can control the situation themselves and others keep quiet out of fear for their lives or even their jobs—fearing that they look somehow incompetent or incapable of controlling their students.
Programs have been implemented around the world in order to help prevent school violence against children, but little focus has so far been placed on preventing violence against teachers even though the problem seems to be on the rise. This doesn’t mean that teachers are helpless or need to go into work fearing for their lives. While many are now fighting for governments and school boards to do something about the problem, teachers can help by doing a few things as well.
If you are a teacher who has been threatened or had a crime committed against you then the first thing you need to do is speak out and report it. Keeping something of this magnitude to yourself will only aggravate things and allow it to continue and even escalate. Anyone who behaves violently towards another person will continue to do so as long as they feel they can get away with it and as long as you continue to let them have control over the situation. You might think that you’re protecting yourself and your job by keeping quiet but you’re actually doing the opposite. This type of situation, if allowed to continue, will not only affect your job performance and the way you feel about your career but it will also increase your chances of further injury or even death. You also need to consider the danger that you could be putting your students in by allowing a violent person to run free in your school.
Reporting violence against teachers is crucial if you want to see something done about the situation and save lives.