Violence Against Teachers Seen as "Growing Concern" by Educators - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Violence Against Teachers Seen as "Growing Concern" by Educators' Union

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(Photo credit: MGN Online) (Photo credit: MGN Online)

DOVER, Del.- Violence against educators by Delaware students is seen as a matter of "growing concern," according to officials with the state teachers' union.

Kristin Dwyer, director of legislation for the Delaware State Education Association, said it's hard to quantify how often violence against teachers is occurring but noted many members have reported their experiences with it in recent years.

"They are violent acts that run the span," she said.

The state says there were more than 1,300 cases of "offensive touching" by a student against a school staff member during the most recent school year. The figure is a slight decrease from the year prior, but is still higher the 1,217 incident recorded during the 2016-2017 school year.

Dwyer said the way those incidents are recorded don't necessarily reflect every incident that actually occurs and noted teachers often face violence that may not be intentionally targeted at them.

"We feel that there are too many of [these incidents] statewide --- where an educator gets caught in the crossfire and they get hurt. it could be because a student is being violent to a teacher themselves or that it's a manifestation of their disability," she said.

Dwyer emphasized that students are often not to blame for these incidents and could benefit from additional support systems or counseling.

Additionally, Dwyer noted that teachers have also been the target of violence caused by parents.

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