Thirty-two percent of JCPS teachers assaulted on job, according to union survey

Updated: Oct. 28, 2019 at 11:30 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new survey from the teacher’s union is finding that an alarming number of teachers have been victims of violence in the classroom.

It’s been seen many times before; brutal fights between students with school staff stuck in the middle. Often teachers step in to break them up and get caught between the blows.

In a survey, 32 percent of teachers who have responded so far reported they’ve been assaulted. Only 17 percent reported the assault to the JCPS Security and Investigations Department.

The Jefferson County Teachers Association is collecting the data to bring to the board at a November meeting.

“Classrooms can be unpredictable,” JCTA Treasurer Andrew Bailey said, “Which means at any point in time, given the right conditions, there could be a fight or some other unsafe behavior taking place.”

Bailey is also a teacher at Fairdale High School. He said he’s broken up a few fights in the hallways, but has never been hurt.

“I think teachers come across fights not often,” Bailey said, "But occasionally when they do teachers feel obligated to break it up, because we love our students.”

Bailey said the numbers so far show referrals have gone down, but suspendable behavior isn’t changing.

"Whether it be that their administrators have directed them not to write referrals or that they’ve been strongly suggested not to write referrals in order for the district data to look better,” Bailey said.

71 percent of teachers who responded to the survey don’t believe they’re getting enough training in restorative practices. 75 percent said there’s a high correlation between student misbehavior and mental health issues.

"It is alarming that our kids are going to school, getting into fights and not getting the proper treatment that they deserve afterwards,” Bailey said.

Another fight at Iroquois High School was captured in shocking cell phone video Monday. The district confirmed that fight is under investigation.

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