Survey reports more teachers are witnessing violent classroom incidents since pandemic

Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 7:25 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - According to two surveys reported by EAB and the School Superintendent Association, the number of teachers reporting they have witnessed a violent classroom incident has doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“The disruptions of the past few years have deprived many students of the kinds of social interactions that are crucial to their development,” EAB Senior Director of K-12 Research Ben Court said.

Court says students have been delayed in fully developing the ability to regulate their own behavior.

“Because they haven’t had the chance to practice that over the past couple of years, teachers are now having to teach that deliberately in the classroom, and that takes time,” Court said.

According to the report, nearly 60% of teachers feel pressure to improve academic outcomes, and they say this leaves them very little time to address behavioral issues.

The single most important thing that schools can do today is to be focused on making it as easy as possible for teachers to be successful in their role, so that they can in turn do the same thing for students,” Court said.

Katina Otey with Charlottesville City Schools says she has also seen in student behavior issues. CCS says it has doubled the positions for mental health professionals in the school district in response to the recent concerns.

“That is a priority in our budget, and so that is one reason that we have worked to maintain these positions as an added layer of safety for our students and staff,” Otey said.

Albemarle County Public Schools has similarly increased the accessibility of mental health services. It also introduced a new program called STEP to cut down on student suspensions.

“[STEP] is a program that allows the student to remain in school but be assigned to a room where they work with a teacher to do their homework or catch up on their homework and their academics,” ACPS spokesperson Phil Giaramita said.

Both CCS and ACPS emphasized that these changes are being made in order to meet the changing needs of their students.

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