Sending our Teachers into Battle

Sending our Teachers into Battle

UPDATE: As reported in the New York Post, a New York City teacher, Aida Sehic, who complained of horrific racial, sexual, and physical abuse from students has settled a lawsuit against the Department of Education, The Post has learned.

Sehic and the DOE agreed to resolve the case this week for an undisclosed but “substantial” sum, according to her attorney, Bryan Glass.  Sehic’s Manhattan federal suit said students in Bronx and Manhattan schools cracked her nose with a bag of metal rulers, stabbed her with a mechanical pencil, routinely demanded sex acts. “Some kids wanted to learn but there were those who wouldn’t let them,” she said. “You can’t kick the kids out and the administration blames you. What can you do as a teacher?”

It’s unfortunate when the only route available to teachers is to sue the school districts that fail to protect them.

Every day across America, our teachers enter our public schools facing unsafe conditions to do the jobs they love.  While teachers have always faced challenges, from the recalcitrant student, not wanting to learn but to disrupt, to battles over adequate pay and job security. However, there are new and increasingly pervasive threats to our teachers emerging from the students themselves, our classroom can become battle zones.

Many teachers face these threats with unsupportive, even hostile school and district administrators, without support from parents & the community, and even without the backup of their very own teacher’s unions–that should have their backs.  Increasingly, our teachers are finding they are alone in the classroom.

Teachers facing these new threats are speaking up and sharing their experiences in an upcoming educational documentary called Silenced Classroom.  Here is a preview of their calls for help.

Based on the nearly hundreds of Broward County teachers that reached out to me (and to others) this past year, we know this is a huge problem and that many of you fear reprisals if you speak up.  So we are creating a reporting site where you can share your stories, anonymously if you prefer, and provide strength to each other, hold the system accountable and create lasting change in the Broward County School District.