Saturday, May 30, 2015

OKC teachers tell of being verbally and physically abused by students

Tim Willert reports that yesterday was "the end of the road for potentially dozens of teachers and support staff at Roosevelt Middle School, where student misconduct went largely unchecked over the last several months at the direction of district officials, several teachers told The Oklahoman."
“Some of the behavior I’ve experienced is intolerable, and a lot of teachers don’t want to come back because of the environment,” said one of three Roosevelt teachers who spoke to The Oklahoman, but asked that their names not be used for fear of retaliation. “The students know what they can and can’t get away with. It’s clear to them.”  
One of the Roosevelt teachers predicted a mass defection of staff from the school over the next two weeks. “You’re going to see a 70 percent turnover in this building,” the teacher said. ... 
Some of the teachers said discipline at the school, 3233 SW 44, began to deteriorate in November, when district discipline policies were abandoned at the school. “We were told we were no longer using the discipline procedures we had been using,” one of the teachers said. “Basically, there was no program in place to allow discipline to occur.”  
Another teacher said staff members were told during a faculty meeting last month to stop suspending students altogether. ... 
Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu, who has acknowledged that student discipline is a major problem confronting the district, said no such direction was given to site administrators at Roosevelt or any other schools. ... 
Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers, finds Neu’s explanation at odds with what he’s heard from his union members. “What we’ve heard for months is that principals are being told to either reduce suspensions or eliminate suspensions altogether,” said Allen, whose union represents 2,700 teachers. “I hear that so much that I have to believe that some message is going out.”  
Roosevelt teachers told of having personal property damaged by students, of having students walk out of class without permission and of being verbally and physically abused by students. 

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