SALISBURY, Md.- A new survey released by the Wicomico County Education Association shows that a majority of teachers and staff in Wicomico County schools are concerned over student and staff safety and the growing level of disrespect in the classroom.
This is a portion of the survey released to WBOC by WCEA.
The 2015-2016 school year is only about half over but Gary Hammer, the president of WCEA, has noticed enough change to sound the alarm and call for change.
"The Wicomico County Education Association has received reports of disciplinary behavior issues at multiple schools. And that it was a drastic increase from previous years," said Hammer.
The WCEA survey polled more than 800 employees of Wicomico County Public Schools, including teachers, aides, and administrators, according to Hammer. The results show more than 70 percent of those polled believe the Wicomico County schools are less safe for students and staff than in previous years. That is because of an increase of in-class incidents, like arguments and fights between students, according to Hammer. The survey also showed more than 70 percent of those polled believe disrespect from students toward staff has increased from previous school years.
Hammer said he would taking the his survey to the Wicomico County Board of Education on Tuesday night to show the results and offer numerous suggestions for change in the district.
"There has to be a coalition or task force established with parents, with educators, with administrators, with the central office and the board of education to look at changing things that we have been doing," Hammer said, highlighting one of his various proposals.
WBOC also spoke with Superintendent of Schools John Fredericksen on Tuesday afternoon about the WCEA survey. Fredericksen told WBOC his data actually shows disciplinary actions in schools have actually declined this school year.
The superintendent also added this anonymous survey does not provide any details on specific issues or schools where these problems are occurring but said he is is looking forward to working with Hammer and the WCEA to make any changes necessary for school safety in Wicomico County.