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Study finds teachers reported more violence at school during COVID-19 pandemic

A new study from the American Psychological Association and Rutgers University looked at American classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the findings is that teachers reported more violence at school during that time.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2022, 9:29 PM

Updated 824 days ago

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A new study from the American Psychological Association and Rutgers University looked at American classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the findings is that teachers reported more violence at school during that time.
One-third of teachers surveyed in the study report that they were threatened or harassed while teaching during the pandemic. Some of it happened in person, while other teachers stated it happened even while teaching remotely.
“There’s a lot of different ways which people were feeling victimized, which also were not in person. There’s emails, phone calls. There were texts being sent to educators and teachers during the pandemic which were very disturbing and challenging,” says Linda Reddy, of the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.
Reddy helped to lead the study. It took a look at 15,000 teachers, administrators, school psychologists and social workers around the country during the 2020-2021 school year. The results found that violence against these educators is on the rise. Fourteen percent of teachers reported incidents involving physical violence, while 22% of school staffers also reported physical violence.
Reddy says that a big factor in this is that children’s mental health needs weren’t being addressed properly, leading to stress in the classroom and at home.
Nearly 50% of teachers expressed the desire to quit or transfer to another school.
Reddy says one of the answers to correcting this issue is to better prepare teachers while they’re in school to become teachers, as well as out on the job.
"Traditional workshops don't work, so we need to do something that is much more job-embedded and much more site-specific and personalized to help educators feel equipped and skilled…so that they can manage the students’ needs and the community needs better, so they can teach,” says Reddy.
Reddy says she hopes the survey will help educators push for more school-based mental health reform initiatives through Congress.
The survey was conducted across the United States, including in New Jersey. Reddy says teachers in urban, suburban and rural districts were surveyed.


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