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Abuse of teachers widespread

(42 Posts)
Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Apr-19 13:21:06

According to an NASUWT poll published in several papers today, 89% of teachers have been subjected to verbal or physical abuse in the last year. 24% have been physically attacked.. 86 % have been sworn at.and 42% verbally threatened. What a sorry state of affairs. The experience of the teacher who says she (or he) waits for quiet times to go into the corridor for fear of the abuse, the stampede and the shoving resonates with mine. I am interested to know how far this is reflected in MN experience and, moreover, where the magical 11 % or so work who have not had these turbulent experiences...what makes the difference? The government has of course issued a pointless statement...the saddest thing to read is teachers reporting that they are blamed at worst or, at best, told basically to suck it up as part of the job.

Don't know how to link from phone but findings easily found online in today's Guardian

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MsAwesomeDragon Sat 20-Apr-19 13:35:14

I think I may be one of those 11% who haven't experienced abuse in the last year. I mean, some of my pupils aren't pleasant, but I haven't been assaulted, sworn at or threatened.

Those things are considered exceptionally serious at my school and the vast majority of the pupils do not think it's worth it. They will argue with us, particularly about whether they deserve a detention, but they won't swear at a teacher directly. They do swear, but not AT a teacher.

I work in an outstanding secondary in the North of England. Our catchment is a mix of very rural farming community, villages and a few small, deprived towns. So we're not a city school and we have quite an extensive range of incomes within our pupil population.

Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Apr-19 13:48:38

I haven't been sworn at either but I have been shouted at and I think arguing might come into that 89 %. I filled in the survey and I am sure that was a question. To me the swearing at each other and about teachers has got suddenly worse again and argument and defiance has reached epidemic proportions in my school as has a general lack of old fashioned manners. I'm in a pretty affluent school in Eastern England.

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Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Apr-19 13:49:41

I would note my school has 1400 pupils , which many have argued is too large for the site. Our year groups are 420.

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General0rgana Sat 20-Apr-19 13:58:22

Less so in my current school (v good with behaviour), but I guess I get the 'normal' level of verbal vitriol at times (for applying the good behaviour policy normally).

Loads of unmistakable verbal abuse in my old school, alongside the occasional physical threat or action. I left after being physically assaulted.

It's unfortunate that this behaviour becomes normal and expected. Those statistics seem reasonable to me (for secondary, surely not primary?)

CatAndFiddle Sat 20-Apr-19 14:20:47

I teach in a very large comp. I can't say exactly how many as we are one of the very few in the country of this size, and so it might be a bit outing. There is not enough physical space on site for the kids. Most of the playgrounds have been built on, so there is no where they can relax and let off steam. I think this plays a part in their foul moods and subsequent abusive language and confrontations...that and lack of parental discipline, inaccessible curriculum etc etc.

Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Apr-19 14:25:59

I agree about lack of space. I also don't think children change behaviour any more when they enter ' hallowed halls'.It seems to me they speak and behave the same as they enter the grounds as they do at the local rec or on their way to school. They also don't seem to care ( or notice?) that they are in the presence if adults so much.

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Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Apr-19 14:27:20

We have plenty of outdoor space.They don't go outside until it gets really warm!

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BigcatLittlecat Sat 20-Apr-19 14:36:31

I've been kicked by a distressed child, hard enough to leave bruises. Also been threatened by another that they are going to hit me (they didn't) also been sworn at and shouted at more times than I can remember. Although I do log everything it's hard to brush things off sometimes! I teach in primary. I believe a lot of it mirrors the behaviour that they see at home! One way for us all to cope is every session is a new session. And just keep showing them respect and love whilst being consistent. SLT are great and there are sanctions but I do have the hardest class in the school and sometimes it is hard! Also have been hurt breaking up fights, you can't leave them fight! Saying all that I do love my job and really hope that I am making a difference!

Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Apr-19 14:55:02

Do you think, in some kind of way, it is easier to tolerate - or even forgive ( some might say excuse) at primary? At secondary, we might be more inclined to view the behaviour as targeted, aggressive or born out of malice?

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MidniteScribbler Sun 21-Apr-19 09:51:38

At my old school, there was a lot of violence, mostly directed towards other children, at times towards staff. I was punched in the face by one student. I have now switched schools, and it's the total opposite. But it's also a very small community and runs very much on the concept of 'it takes a village' with elders of the community being present around the school, and quite different values. Life is much calmer, and I'm not on edge all of the time. I can actually teach now, rather than be watching for students about to snap.

I found this article interesting. It is Australian, but I think there is some fact in it. The parents at my old school very often fit into this category.

pinkpushchairs Sun 21-Apr-19 10:09:08

I've been verbally abused by both students and parents (frequently) and physically abused by a student whilst I was pregnant. I had a risk assessment for my latest pregnancy the other week and the man doing it didn't even bat an eyelid when I said I was l physically assaulted during my previous pregnancy. We have no support and it is blamed on the staff member not the student. I was expected to continue teaching the student who physically abused me after they had spent 1 day in insolation as a punishment. The bruises from what they did were still visible on my arms for weeks later. I'd used my arms to protect my stomach. I work in a school that is rated as good and is pushing constantly for outstanding. Exam results are top for the local authority and we are considered to be in a 'nice' area. I can't imagine what it would be like working in a school in a not nice area.

Having said all that I generally love my job and the vast majority of students are great.

LOTR Sun 21-Apr-19 10:44:42

I was verbally threatened by a parent last term. No support from the school - just an instruction to 'fix it' and despite repeated requests no one supported during the parents meetings. Didn't help my live of the job tbh.

physicskate Sun 21-Apr-19 13:22:59

Two parents of a child verbally attacked me on the phone in January 2018 for at least an hour after school on a Friday. It was my last day of teaching. I couldn't return. I'd just been told they would like to 'speak to me.' I thought it was an apology or a discussion about the way forward. I was wrong.

It was over discipline. I had removed a year 7 child at the start of the lesson for entering the class, putting his things down in his place and then going across the room to throw something in in another child's face from 3 feet away. Apparently, I was 'insane', 'a terrible teacher' and the parent would 'get me sacked' for this incident. Oh and 'all the other parents would hear about it.'

It was a private school. And obviously, it was only a straw of many that broke this camel's back. I still can't fathom how those parents thought they were helping their child. I still feel deeply bitter about how I was treated by those (and a few other) parents at that school.

It wasn't my first rodeo, but it was my last. I didn't need to be treated like that for something their child did... I had a whole class full of children who deserved better than that sort of disruption to their learning (and probably a better teacher than me).

limemandarincandle Sun 21-Apr-19 19:49:54

There was a thread a few weeks ago on here about a NQT in Scotland who was worrying about where she would be placed (they seem to do things differently and are allocated schools). She said that she didn't want to go to a school in a tough area where they were fighting in the classroom etc.

Admittedly it was AIBU but there were a few posters really putting the boot in- that's part of teaching, you just need to accept it etc.

That should NOT be the case at all. How has that attitude ever been allowed to develop? No school should have fighting in the classroom as a regular event.

Piggywaspushed Sun 21-Apr-19 19:54:29

Quite right. Or out of it, to be honest. And it's not just tough areas!

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Cat0115 Sun 21-Apr-19 20:06:19

I have been sworn at (child had one day in isolation for calling me a C***. I had asked him to take off his coat and start the lesson. His mother couldn't see the problem. This is an outstanding school. All I keep hearing is 'Society has changed' but this has, escalated in this school in three years. Boys are a bigger issue than girls.Tgey comply I stabtmy for make staff but front up to females. If I ask twice I'm nagging...

Cat0115 Sun 21-Apr-19 20:07:40

Sorry about random punctuation. Can't wear glasses due to facepack!

Cat0115 Sun 21-Apr-19 20:13:58

Should be... They comply instantly for male staff.

cathay123 Sun 21-Apr-19 20:22:09

I'm in primary and I've been abused by parents. After the last incident there was a message in the newsletter to say that abuse of staff would not be tolerated and a sign up in in the office.

I was watching The Bay on catch up today and the main character (a police officer) was almost boasting about being excluded from school because she punched a teacher. It's as though that sort of behaviour is completely acceptable.

alwaystimeforcakeandtea Sun 21-Apr-19 21:17:51

Primary teacher. Mainstream, generally affluent intake school. I have been threatened with false accusations and violence (including death), punched, kicked, bitten, spat at, sworn at, threatened with objects used as weapons and projectiles. This is all within the past term with one child. TAs and other children have also suffered this abuse. All the correct referrals have been put in place but in the meantime primary staff are expected to put up with it.

Piggywaspushed Sun 21-Apr-19 23:01:54

Goodness. This thread is horrifying really.

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likeafishneedsabike Wed 24-Apr-19 22:33:43

@cathay123 I have had exactly the same experience of male students only obeying male staff. This worries me A LOT. To be fair the whole thread is very unsettling.

ImTheRealHFella Wed 24-Apr-19 22:39:14

Yes, there's a definite rumbling misogyny in teen boys these days.

I get walked through/barged by them, they ignore me etc. Even donut to the female head. Not the male staff though.

I've been sworn at, had things thrown at me. Worked in affluent suburban and semi rural areas.....

Pieceofpurplesky Wed 24-Apr-19 23:23:25

Average high school. Better classes this year but last year was called a 'cunt' 'mong' 'bitch' amongst others. At my school though it seems to be who you swear at that determines the punishment and these kids got a session out of lesson for
'Normal' teacher.
I have been hit by a desk thrown by a pupil (actually I stood in the way to stop it hitting another pupil). Had a sandwich thrown at me by someone I asked to pick up his sandwich wrapper and been hit in the face with a boiled sweet that cut me.

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