Pa. Teachers: 'Unprecedented' Violence Has Caused Dozens to Resign

They're asking district for help
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2017 12:26 PM CST
Teachers Describe 'Unprecedented' Violence in Pa. Classrooms
Stock photo   (Getty Images/bhofack2)

At least 45 teachers resigned from Pennsylvania's Harrisburg School District between July and October due to misbehavior in classrooms, and more have resigned since then, according to the Harrisburg Education Association. The HEA is asking district administrators to help find a solution; they say the misbehavior is at unprecedented levels and sometimes leads to physical violence or property destruction in the classroom. "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," says one first-grade teacher, per PennLive. She says that in addition to the violence, the incidents disrupt the day as the classroom needs to be cleared, the incident written up, and school security involved, per FOX43.

The HEA is asking for a task force to figure out strategies. Association President Jody Barksdale says the association started asking for help in January, and little has changed since then. "Teachers and students are being hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at ... and observing other students flip over tables, desks, and chairs," she notes. "Teachers have had to take the rest of their class into the hallway to protect them during these outbursts." School district leaders say they'll work with teachers to figure out a solution, but in a statement, the district says it's "unfortunate that our teacher organization has chosen to engage in public discourse opposed to factual and substantive discussions." It says it currently has 38 job vacancies and that not all are due to resignations over violence, per the AP, and that administrators are "working extremely hard" to support teachers. (More teachers stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.