Saskatchewan teachers share concern over rise in classroom violence
One of the chief concerns expressed by teachers in the ongoing contract dispute with the Saskatchewan Government is classroom safety. The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation shared various experiences from teachers across the province dealing with violence in the classroom in a release on February 21. “No one should be experiencing violence or aggression in their workplace. Unfortunately, these instances are becoming regular events in schools across Saskatchewan, which means it’s not only occurring in teachers’ working environments, but these incidents are occurring in these students' learning environments,” stated STF President Samantha Becotte. “Teachers know that these incidents are at no fault of the students who are involved; violent incidents are a symptom of underfunding and are a clear sign that there is not enough support for students or teachers in our schools.” Teachers shared experiences of being attacked by students in elevated emotional states, leaving multiple injuries, students throwing furniture, being punctured in the chest with pencils, and students urinating and defecating on the floor. “I do not blame the student for what happened,” stated one teacher who shared her experience. “I blame the system and the lack of government support that continues to let students fall through the cracks in the Saskatchewan education system. Violence in schools is an increasing issue and compromises the safety of all staff and students in the building.” Below are the teachers’ experiences.