MMSD student/teacher assaults/injuries 2006-2007

Madison Parent:

Details of the data behind the “School assaults, by the numbers” item (thank you, Bill Lueders) in this week’s Isthmus are posted here (sorted by school name), and here (subtotals of incidents by school type). The reports included incidents through June 4, 2007, so any incidents that occurred during the final fortnight of the school year aren’t included. There are a couple of entries whose dates predate the school year and may be typos, but they are replicated as is.

Student-on-student assault/injury information is not included in these reports, nor do these reports include incidents of verbal threats of violence against staff (even those serious enough to result in the issuance of a restraining order). Police were called in only 13 of the 224 incidents. We don’t know whether there is a district-wide policy that requires that all such incidents be reported, and, if there is, whether the policy is followed consistently from school to school. I concur with the commenters at School Information System that this is only a part of the picture, that we need to know more, and that we need to do more.

2 thoughts on “MMSD student/teacher assaults/injuries 2006-2007”

  1. Thank you for posting this.
    The list is missing a lot. The battery/assault of a Thoreau teacher on May 22 isn’t listed even though a police report was made.
    And Sherman Middle School’s list falls very short of reflecting the many acts of physical abuse some of the teachers there have experienced this past year.
    All I can imagine is that staff are being discouraged from reporting.

  2. I think the one student at Chavez accounts for so many of the total because teachers there are actually not afraid to write up official reports. There is not one incident in that list from Falk, but I know there have been incidents in which teachers were kicked, shoved and scratched at various times – most often from the same few students.
    I also was astonished to see only one incident listed at Toki, the middle school for our attendance area. In just one incident I know of, a student I know well bit an aide (not breaking the skin) when the aide roughly restrained him and the child felt like he was choking and panicked. He did what he felt he needed to for the adult to let go. He did not even attempt to run away then, and whether he was pushed up against the wall as (the students) claimed or the student ran into the wall as the teacher claimed, he (the student) received a serious shoulder contusion and scrape from the brick wall. The whole incident was dropped though, and nothing “reported”. Yes, the student did not break the skin of the aide’s hand, but it is still amazing that it was not officially reported at all. The fact that their child was injured worse than the adult in the incident makes the parents suspicious of the whole story – as in, why was it really not reported?
    There seem to be multiple reasons for not reporting many incidents, not the least of which is the possibility of a “don’t ask don’t tell”-type of fear over admitting that these things go on in our “wonderful” system. I don’t believe for a minute that those three “worst” schools in that list have so many more such incidents than the ones missing from the list entirely. When the teachers/aides are not safe, the opther students aren’t either. And teaching “safe restraint use” is not a solution either. Much more could be done to be proactive with a lot the special ed students I know, so they never become so physically agitated. All those “without warnings” listed as antecedents? I don’t believe it for at least half of them. Did you read the article that talked about the girl in NY State who screamed for “no apparent reason” for almost an hour until her mother came in and carried her out? Her feeding tube was causing her pain and she couldn’t tell anyone. I bet that was listed there as “without warning” in any immediate report too.

Comments are closed.