I hesitate to say this for fear of the Texans protesting, but it is time to put more power back in the hands of teachers and not let the inmates run the asylum.
The so-called “Teacher Protection Act” would make a series of changes so teachers could find out when one of their students has been arrested for a violent crime. It would allow teachers to discipline students more severely. Its author says 12 lawmakers have signed on to support it, all of them Republicans.
The issue of attacks against teachers bubbled over when video of a student beating a teacher at South Division High School in August surfaced. The video sparked outcry in Milwaukee, but according to federal data, it’s far from the only incident.
In Wisconsin, 11.3 percent of teachers said they were physically attacked in the 2011-2012 school year, the highest percentage in the country, according to federal data from the National Center for Education Statistics (page 150). And 13.7 percent of Wisconsin teachers said they had been threatened with injury that year, which is the most recent data available.
Thiesfeldt’s bill would force police to tell school districts when they arrest a student for a violent crime, and require administrators to tell teachers before they have that student in class.
Districts would have to report assaults on teachers to police within 24 hours. If administrators won’t suspend a student, teachers could appeal to the school board. The bill would also require districts to tell teachers annually of their rights, including the use of reasonable force against a violent student.