AP NEWS

Bismarck teachers reports hundreds of incidents of violence

June 26, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Teachers in Bismarck Public Schools have reported hundreds of incidents of classroom violence since the district began collecting data in 2017, according to a school board committee tracking the cases.

The Health and Safety Committee briefed members on two years’ worth of data this week. From July 2018 to last month, there were 412 incidents of violence reported. From November 2017 to May 2018, there were 348 incidents reported, according to the Bismarck Tribune .

Committee member Matt Fricke told board members that they’ve been working to encourage employees to report incidents.

“Prior to this committee, we maybe weren’t gathering that information as well as we could have, but we are now,” said Fricke, principal of Rita Murphy Elementary School.

The committee was formed after teachers shared safety concerns during contract negotiations with district leaders in 2017 including cases of students injuring teachers and throwing objects in the classroom.

Of the 412 incidents reported this year, 319 incidents involved students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program.

Fricke said a majority of the incidents reported this past year, or 296 of the 412, did not involve physical restraint or seclusion of a student.

“We’ll never have (zero incidents) and that’s OK,” Fricke said. “I believe as a school district we’re growing in our capacity to help from the administrative level, and more importantly from the teacher level, to help support kids.”

A majority of the incidents reported this past year did not involve physical restraint or seclusion of a student, he said. Fricke also highlighted other efforts to improve classroom safety, including training with teachers and staff this past year and hiring a specialized therapist to assist schools.

___

Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.