Teachers assaulted at rate of two a day – survey

The Dominion Post 31/05/2010

At least two secondary teachers are seriously assaulted by pupils every school day, a union survey shows. The Post Primary Teachers Association says teachers are being punched, kicked, struck with objects, or verbally abused. The preliminary findings of a survey of the PPTA’s 18,000 members – the first time it has undertaken a comprehensive study on violence against teachers – show teachers are under increasing stress from the threat of assault.

PPTA president Kate Gainsford said some teachers were suffering physical injury and psychological effects from working in a “physically and verbally threatening and stressful environment”. “The [education] ministry’s figures only cover suspensions and stand-downs, not actual assaults,” she said.