Teacher Victimization


by Patrick Roberts

Olney High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a teacher was jumped and beaten in the face by two students while he was standing in a hallway on the school‘s third floor. Burton Elementary School in Los Angeles, California – the 65-year-old principal was assaulted on school property by two males and beat into unconsciousness. Yosemite High in Oakhurst, California – a female staff member was assaulted on the school campus, knocked down, while a knife was held to her face.

We have all heard the reports about school crime, and how concerning it is for us parents who have children in elementary and secondary schools. But what about those teaching in our schools? How safe are they? A new report has recently come out that gives us a current perspective on what our teachers are having to deal with on a daily level, regarding their own personal safety while on the job at our schools.

9% of Elementary and Secondary School
Teachers Are Threatened With Injury Each Year

Each year approximately 390,000 elementary and secondary school teachers are threatened with violent injury by a student, representing 9% of all U.S. school teachers. This equates to 87 teachers out of every 1,000 who are threatened with violent injury in our children’s schools each year. This is according to the latest report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and The National Center for Education Statistics, released in October, 2003.

Each year 119,800 teachers, or approximately 3% of all elementary and secondary school teachers, are violently physically assaulted by students. This represents 28 teachers out of every 1,000 who are victims of violent crimes annually in our schools. These violent crimes included rape, sexual assault, robbery, simple assault and aggravated assault.

Another 46 teachers per 1,000 every year are victims of theft at school. In total 321,000 teachers each year are victims of theft or violent crimes in our elementary and secondary schools, 7.4% of all teachers.

Public school teachers are more likely than private school teachers to be victimized by students. 10% of public school teachers are threatened with injury each year, compared to 4% of private school teachers. Likewise, 4% of public school teachers are violently physically attacked each year, compared to 2% of teachers in private schools. Overall, teachers in public schools were threatened with injury 150% more than teachers in private schools. And violently attacked 100% more in public schools over private schools.

Thirty-five out of every 1,000 senior high school teachers is a victim of violent crime at school each year. For middle schools that figure jumps to 49 teachers out of every 1,000 who are victims of violent crimes at school. And for elementary, 15 out of every 1,000 teachers are violent crime victims at school.

As one might expect, teachers in urban schools are victimized by students more than in rural or suburban schools. Thirty-six out of every 1,000 urban school teachers become victims of violent crime every year. In surburban schools, 21 out of every 1,000 teachers are victims of violent crime. And in rural schools, 17 out of every 1,000 teachers are violently victimized by students each year.

Teachers in urban public schools are 400% more likely to be threatened with injury than teachers in urban private schools. And teachers in urban public schools are 300% more likely to be a target of a violent crime attack compared to urban private schools.

Male teachers are at higher risk than female teachers to be victims of violent crimes at school, 50 male teachers out of every 1,000 (5%) are assaulted. For female teachers, 20 violent crimes per 1,000 teachers is the average, less than half of male teachers.

What Can Teachers Do?

The point is clear, our teachers and administrators are at risk in our schools, whether public or private institutions. But what is being done to ensure the safety of our teachers? What is being done that is effectively deterring this criminal assault? The answer is that very little is being done. But one institution has taken it upon themselves to provide training to our teachers and administrators in the skills of personal safety and self defense, so at least they can keep themselves safe from the criminal actions of disturbed students. That organization is Front Sight Resorts.

Based outside of Las Vegas, Front Sight is a state-of-the-art self defense and personal safety training school that has taken it upon itself to train teachers and administrators from any and every learning institution in the U.S. The result is that teachers are coming to Front Sight in a steady stream, and leaving with a new confidence and ability to better ensure their personal safety.

“I have taken several one-day, two-day and week-long courses in my life, Front Sight’s course is the best organized and presented. Front Sight should teach teachers how to teach.” Says Eddie Ray Lee, a Professor.

Front Sight brings into place a broad diversity of self defense training techniques for use by teachers, that are reality-based, and for the most part taught by instructors with extensive law enforcement experience. The courses teach how to spot, diffuse and deal with potentially dangerous situations before they occur. And, provide specialized training in dealing with open-hands defense, edged weapon defense, and the most extensive training available anywhere in proper and safe handling of firearms.

Teachers emerge with a real-world understanding of how to protect themselves in a number of different life threatening situations. Front Sight’s curriculum and training programs are having quite an impact on those who themselves are in the teaching business.

“This is a great course for anyone in need of protection, but unable or unwilling to use a firearm.” Mike Workman, teacher.

“I had an extraordinary time. The instructors were talented, knowledgeable, courteous and safety conscious. The course is a ‘must’ especially for women!“ Michelle Martin, teacher.

“Front Sight instructors are awesome! They are encouraging, personable, consistent, professional and courteous. No matter where you start when you arrive you will improve.” Rhonda Lunder, teacher.

“The instructors are true professionals. They were helpful and 100% safety conscious. I wholeheartedly endorse this program.” Dr. Suzanne Hedden, College Professor.

With 9% of our teachers being threatened with bodily harm by students each and every year, it is time that teachers and administrators accord themselves with an adequate sense of self protection, before more of our teachers become unnecessarily harmed in the name of education.

To find out more about Front Sight Resorts self defense and personal safety courses for teachers and school administrators call 800-987-7719; email info@frontsight.com; or visit their web site at www.frontsight.com.



Patrick Roberts has written many articles on personal safety.

Ignatius Piazza
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