The president of the Nebraska State Education Association says a recent survey of state teachers sheds light on the problem of student violence in the classroom, and the need for action on the state and local level to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students and educators.
The survey responses returned by teachers and released Thursday included a number of detailed reports, with educators suffering cuts and bruises, torn ligaments and concussions, and in one instance being hit in the stomach while pregnant.
In an interview with Rural Radio News last December, Jenni Benson said the NSEA will be working with lawmakers on LB147, the student discipline bill, as no child should miss the opportunity to learn, even those who may be disruptive or violent. “What they need may not be in their regular classroom, it may be in a self-contained classroom, it may be with different services, but every child deserves the opportunity to learn,” said Benson. “We want to make sure what that is, and what that looks like, and the only way we can do that is to talk to people.”
Benson says NSEA supports ongoing training for educators that focuses on de-escalation and prevention, and all students and teachers deserve to have a productive learning environment.
She says additional mental and behavioral health resources are needed for students, as well as statewide clarity regarding when and how school staff can intervene to protect themselves and their students.