Teachers Quit After Begging District To Help Control ‘Biting,’ ‘Scratching’ Students

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A slew of Pennsylvania teachers quit their jobs after begging the school district to help them in a reportedly unsafe environment where students scratch and bite their teachers, according to Wednesday reports.

Approximately 45 Philadelphia teachers have quit their jobs in recent months due to raucous student behavior, according to the Harrisburg Teacher Association President Jody Barksdale.

“Teachers and students are being hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at … and observing other students flip over tables, desks and chairs,” she said. “Teachers have had to take the rest of their class into the hallway to protect them during these outbursts. Not much has changed since last January.”

The teachers have been apparently dealing with out of control behavior from students for a while. At a Monday meeting with the district on the issue, various teachers came forward to discuss how students as young as six had been attacking them.

“I have been kicked, punched, hit, scratched. I’ve had a student physically restraining me in front of my other students… And many of the personal things that I have bought for my classroom have been broken or destroyed,” a first grade teacher told the school board. “Many minutes are spent each day dealing with violence that is happening in the classroom. How am I supposed to have a safe, nurturing learning environment when this behavior happens?”

Harrisburg schools Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney said some of the teachers quitting had to do with reasons besides violence from their students, but agreed that the problem needs to be addressed.

‘Unfortunately, some of these things take time,” Knight-Burney said. “They take time for training; they take time for investigation, and making sure that we are doing the right thing for our students.”

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