Increasingly, teachers are facing violent incidents in schools and workplaces.
In 2016-2017, ETT received more than 400 fillings of violent incident reports from our members, the elementary teachers employed by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).
Violent incidents were filed across all grades, from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Our office receives filings from the first day of school to the last.
We recognize that there are multiple cases where reports have not been filed. We believe the number of actual violent incidents in TDSB schools is higher than reported, as teachers are often reluctant to speak-up and discouraged from reporting. Furthermore, there is insufficient, systemic follow-up by the Board.
Some incidents reported include:
- Physical assaults (punches, kicks, scratches, bites, slaps, head-butts, spitting)
- Attempts to injure with projectiles (blocks, staplers, chairs, toys, water bottles)
- Stabbing with objects (pencils, scissors, pens)
- Verbal assaults (yelling, swearing, threats on life)
When workplace violence happens there is a risk of physical and mental harm to both adults and children. Teaching and learning are disrupted and the whole school community can be affected. Educators and students can become fearful at the prospect of violence happening again.