Sunday, June 1, 2014

Violence plagues OKC school district; union chief thinks violence numbers greatly under-reported

"One student punched his teacher in the jaw after she asked him to leave a hallway," The Oklahoman reports today.
Another chased a fellow student with a knife at recess threatening to kill him. Still another, chest bumped the school principal and threatened to knock her out.

The perpetrators? Nine-, 10- and 11-year-olds. The place? Bodine Elementary School in south Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma City School District, like many large urban districts, long has been plagued by school violence. ... Today, some teachers and parents believe violence in the 45,000-student district is at an all-time high. Most concerning, they say, is that the perpetrators are younger and younger.

In the 2012-2013 school year, Oklahoma City Public Schools reported more than 2,400 violent incidents in its 89 schools. Of those, 857 were in elementary schools and 42 of those involved a student assaulting a teacher. In fact, the number of elementary teachers assaulted by a student was four times higher than high school teachers and twice that of middle school teachers, district statistics show. ...

Ed Allen, president of Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers, said he doesn’t think the general public realizes how bad things are. He believes the district’s school violence numbers are greatly under-reported.

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