CHAMPAIGN -- A new report based on a study by a University of Illinois researcher shows teachers are experiencing high rates of student violence and harassment while at school. "Understanding and Preventing Violence Directed Against Teachers" reports that, "Violence directed against teachers is a national crisis ..." according to the article's lead author, Dorothy Espelage, PhD, from the University of Illinois. "We are proposing that any comprehensive examination of school violence must consider the complex dynamics that affect teachers and other school personnel as well as students, parents and the entire community."
The task force found that 80 percent of the teachers surveyed reported being victimized at school at least once in the then-current or prior year. Of those, 94 percent said they had been victimized by students - 44 percent reported being physically attacked and 72 percent reported harassment, while 50 percent said they experienced theft or property damage at school. The findings were based on survey responses from almost 3,000 K-12 teachers in 48 states.
The article suggests creating a national registry maintained by the U.S. Department of Education to track violence against incidents. The article also suggests implementing state-by-state consistency in licensingrequirements so that all educators are required to master classroom management training before they are licensed to teach. "Because professional training typically does not prepare teachers to deal with violence at school, most lack the skills to prevent challenging behavior from occurring and to respond effectively when it does occur," Espelage says.
To see the full report, go to: