Chesterfield teacher’s union: Two teachers injured within a week, group calls for action

Teachers ring the alarm for school safety

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - There’s a call for action from Chesterfield teachers who want to feel safer in the buildings they're expected to teach in.

The Chesterfield Education Association says there have been at least two incidents within in a week where teachers were hurt by students. When it comes to improving safety in schools, local teachers are saying - if not us, then who?

"I pray for my colleagues in the classroom and in school buildings and things…My fear for my members is that they’re suffering in silence,” Sonia Smith said, wearing her red teacher’s union shirt.

She heads the Chesterfield Education Association. Wednesday morning, teachers and school staff rallied for rights of those who work with students every day.

"They’re trying to figure out what to do next,” Smith said.

One of the concerns: their own safety.

"We don’t want to think of any of our colleagues of being in a place where their bodily harm is called into question. We don’t want anyone to feel they can’t be safe,” she added.

It’s been a week now since a 15-year-old male student is accused of assaulting a teacher at Thomas Dale High. A backpack and two chairs were thrown at her, breaking her glasses, too. The teacher was rushed to the hospital with injuries.

“To then lash out at a professional, an educator, college-trained, like really?” Smith said.

Days later, she says she received calls about another teacher who was hurt after an incident at another school. Now, the education association is demanding change.

They’re sending out surveys to find out what those who work in schools are dealing with when it comes to student violence. The goal is to share the findings and collaborate with the school district.

“{To say} ‘this is what we need to do and here’s some possible solutions. Let’s bring our ideas together so we can work on this together,’” she explained.

They’re calling it a “May Day,” teachers ringing the alarm to improve public education and step up their own safety.

“When we cannot provide that quality education, what are we doing?” Smith asked.

Teachers and those who work with students can complete the association’s survey HERE.

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