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School Violence Rising, Putting Teachers, Districts in Fear

A spate of violence against teachers – sensationalized to kids with social media addictions and potential mental health issues – has hit America since the return to in-person learning after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

School-based assault-related workers’ compensation claims topped 1,350, a five-year high, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from claims and risk-management services firm Gallagher Bassett.

“We are witnessing the highest levels of frequency, severity and complexity for these kinds of assault claims when compared to the last four complete school calendar years,” Gallagher Bassett’s Greg McKenna told the Journal.

The violence is trending in the same direction as mental health issues – as 14% of teachers in a American Psychological Association survey reported physical violence from students and 49% of teachers say they want to quit or switch schools because of it – according to the report.

“Across the board, we continue to see significant mental and behavioral health challenges with youth, some of which are manifesting in violence and aggression to fellow students and staff,” National Association of School Psychologists’ Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach told the Journal.

The incidents are not only more frequent, but they are more violent, too, according to Washoe County, Nevada, School District social psychologist Paul LaMarca.

“It seems like it’s been a bit more extreme, a little bit more frequent this school year than it has in the past,” he told the Journal.

Teachers are feeling the burden of having to quell violence in the hallways in addition to the classroom.

“I’m freaking out on the inside, but on the outside I can’t show that to the students,” teacher Jamie Lindsey, 28, told the Journal. “I can’t. I have to come back in and do my job.

“I signed up as a teacher, not as a police officer.”

Students are behaving like they see others in the media, a lot of which shows violence and a “brazenness for the disregard of adult authority,” according to Washoe County chief of the school district police Jason Trevino to the Journal.

The violence is leading to calls for more money for schools, including a panic-alarm system sold by Centegix.

“If I can press this and get more staff members there quickly, maybe we deescalate this before it becomes physical, before I have to try and separate them,” Trevino told the paper.

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