Elementary school teachers and TAs in Peel are on a campaign seeking more support for special-needs students after they reported more than 7,000 incidents of workplace violence in classrooms last school year.
The teachers and teaching assistants have going to work with protective equipment.
Matthew Jackson, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Peel local, said that more than 350 workplace violence incidents reported by elementary school teachers in Peel last year which include teachers being bitten, kicked, scratched, punched and threatened. Some even required them to go to the hospital.
Jackson said that it’s not known how many of the incidents involve students with special needs or mental health issues acting out or having meltdowns.
Jackson said the ETFO is on a province wide campaign to seek action on violence in schools. The union wants to see the provincial government review its education funding formula and provide more cash for special education and support for students with high-risk behaviours.