Hidden by main stream media, a war has been waged against teachers in the public school system.
It may seem strange, but teaching can be a dangerous job. Paired with a group of students unwilling to learn or with disdain for school and a teacher comes under risk of abuse. There are countless tales of teachers being attacked for confiscating cell phones that were being played with in class. Some parents reason that the teacher should not have touched an item the student had even if it was distracting in class, but since when has hitting a teacher become an acceptable response?
Many examples as to why teachers are low in stock pertain to low wages, curriculum, stress and educators going into retirement. What isn’t televised is the amount of teachers who have been attacked in classrooms and suffered frequent verbal abuse from students. Once injured on the job, many teachers find themselves being denied worker’s compensation and the benefits they should receive for being incapacitated while working.
This is something I have seen first-hand. My mother, an educator for over ten years served the School District faithfully. She was injured on the job when her class began throwing books at her because they didn’t want to do their class assignments. The jagged edges of the hard cover books punctured her back and neck, they were thrown with so much force. On another occasion, she was hit by students with a metal door while at work. The impact shook her spine and caused severe injury which required medical intervention.
As per protocol she made a report documenting what happened and applied for worker’s compensation. Although she had documentation from doctors stating she was injured, the worker’s comp board fought her like a rabid dog.
They denied her the funds she needed to maintain her health and cover living expenses. She missed out on multiple days because she was in agony from her injuries. Her bills fell behind and she wound up losing her home of 12 years in 2008 and has since been moving from place to place for the past eight years. She was never compensated.
This case is one of many teachers – thousands and millions – who have faced hostility and have been harmed while teaching in school. It is out of control and should not be happening. Teachers who, like my mother, sincerely enjoy teaching are deprived of the right to continue contributing to society and the future of children when they are denied worker’s compensation if and when they are impaired from work related incidents.
This is cause for educators to feel betrayed and stolen from when a system so integral for the minds of children will not take responsibility to allot them their due. This is especially paramount for those who have been mangled to the point where working is no longer possible.
To clarify, this article is not about incriminating students but more so bringing attention to how these issues are handled by the board of officials at the School District. Instead of doing right by teachers in their time of need, they hoard benefits that are meant for those accosted on the job, and spend millions hiring corrupt lawyers to fight against their own employees. This is the bigger issue.
If ever there was a misuse of power and resources, here is one. How can teachers be expected to work under these conditions? Do they really think treating workers like this is going to draw more teachers in?! If anything, new recruits will learn from how the School District handles such cases and create the mass exodus from schools that we are witnessing today!
The unsettling thing about this is it’s all at the expense of students and the teachers who couldn’t be there because they work under a system that denies them the basic rights of fair treatment and compensation under injury.
More information on violence against teachers can be found at apa.org.