Teachers are under attack from pupils and parents

TEACHERS in Cheddar, Wedmore and Axbridge are being kicked, bitten and punched in the classroom and are also being threatened by parents and former pupils. Nick Lerry, who is a Somerset representative for the National Union of Teachers (NUT), says the thr

TEACHERS in Cheddar, Wedmore and Axbridge are being kicked, bitten and punched in the classroom and are also being threatened by parents and former pupils.Nick Lerry, who is a Somerset representative for the National Union of Teachers (NUT), says the threats are coming from inside and outside the school grounds.Mr Lerry, who is a teacher himself, said: "Intruders hang around when they shouldn't and verbally abuse teachers or use threats of physical violence against them."It could be someone wanting to meet with teachers or former pupils coming onto the school site."Sometimes people may come on to the school site because they are looking for someone, not to have a quiet chat with them but to take something out on them. This could be a parent or other relative."An assault could come from a pupil or an adult coming into school. These are day-to-day incidents that are a matter of course."Sometimes pupils may also feel a teacher has a grudge against them."They may start fighting or showing extreme behaviour towards another pupil. It can get out of hand and perhaps the teacher will intervene to stop it."It may also be that a child will physically attack a teacher, kicking, biting them and punching them and so forth. "They may have to hold a pupil down to stop them hurting themselves or another child."These are the worst kinds of incidents I have heard about in the Somerset area and we are talking about a minority of children."Some children suffer mental health problems and teachers have to deal with complex personalities. There are also pressures on children to do well."Many schools also have CCTV now and any intruders coming in can be spotted and this may also lead to a phone call to the police."Schools are hyper-sensitive to security and safety and they want to make sure children are safe."A request made under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed that there were 873 emergency 999 calls made from inside schools in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area between April 2005 and March 2007. All the incidents related to either assault or disorder.


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