EDMONTON…. According to a national
study conducted by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), the growing number
of violent – and underreported -- incidents towards teachers is often linked to
a lack of critical resources and supports for students in schools.
findings of the federation’s first-ever Pan-Canadian Research Review on
violence in schools were shared this morning with approximately 150 educators
and education leaders attending the Canadian Forum on Public Education underway
in Edmonton. The Forum theme is “Safe and Caring Schools”.
teachers are faced with many challenges, including teaching to increasingly
complex classrooms, encompassing diverse cultural, academic, behavioral and
social skill sets and backgrounds,” explains CTF President H. Mark Ramsankar. “They
require educational support and resources such as assistants, psychologists,
psychiatrists and other professionals to support their students’ learning
studies, a child’s feelings of abandonment in which his/her educational, social
and emotional needs are not being met may lead to violent outbursts,” adds
that violence against teachers is taking a toll on educators’ mental and
physical well-being as well as their self-worth as professionals.”
CTF research points to some of the drivers behind the increased rates of
violence: widespread underfunding for public education; lack of resources and
supports for addressing violence against teachers (including in-service
supports and training), and serious inadequacies in services and supports for
student mental health, behavioural, and special education needs.
Other key findings:
·Rates of violence experienced by teachers are very high; ranging
from 41% to 90% of surveyed teachers in jurisdictions across Canada. A
significant majority of teachers (>70%), when surveyed, also report that
both rates and severity of violence
in schools are increasing.
·Rates of violence experienced by teachers tended to be higher for
teachers who are: 1) women, 2) working in elementary schools, 3) working in
schools in lower socioeconomic status locations and/or large metropolitan
areas, and 4) working as special education teachers.
·Non-physical (verbal/emotional) violence is the most frequently
reported type of violence experienced by educators, followed by physical
violence. Students are the perpetrators of this violence in a very large
majority (typically over 90%) of reported incidents.
·Violence directed towards teachers has a strong,
negative impact on teacher well-being, is associated with increased rates of
depression in teachers, may lead to teacher burnout, changing schools, and/or
leaving the profession. In addition, teachers may also experience physical
health symptoms, including physical injury, headaches, and fatigue.
·While a large majority of teachers experience and/or witness some
form of violence in their schools, research confirms that there is significant
underreporting of violence to school administrators and/or police.
“Teachers are caring
professionals who are committed to their students,” adds Ramsankar. “In fact,
the report discovered that teachers underreport violent incidents out of
concern for their students and also because they fear it may reflect poorly on
their worth as an educator.
We, as a society,
have a responsibility to ensure professional expertise, resources and support
are in place in schools,” Ramsankar concludes.
Founded in 1920, the CTF is a
non-profit organization and a national alliance of provincial and territorial
Member organizations that represent over 238,000 teachers across Canada.
@CanTeachersFed and @EnseigneCanada
Spokesperson:CTF President H. Mark
Information:Sherri Brown, CTF
Director of Research and Professional Learning
CTF Communications Director, 613-899-4247 or [email protected]