Classroom scene with teacher standing and students sitting

Violence, Aggression Against Educators Grew Post-Pandemic, Study Finds

While threats and violence against pre-K to 12th-grade teachers and other school personnel in the United States declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, after the restrictions were lifted, incidents rebounded to levels equal to or exceeding those prior to the pandemic. As a result, the percentage of teachers expressing the intention to resign or transfer rose from 49% during the pandemic to 57% afterward. These are the findings of new research led by the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Violence Against Educators and School Personnel, whose members include UCLA Luskin Social Welfare Professor Ron Avi Astor. “Aggression and violence against educators and school personnel are major concerns that affect the well-being of school personnel and the students and families they serve,” the researchers concluded. They recommended an overhaul of existing policies, with the goal of bringing school personnel, students, parents and communities together to work toward improving campus climate, work environment, and student learning and well-being. The study compared the results of two surveys of educators and school personnel from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The first was conducted during the height of the pandemic in 2020-2021 and the second in 2022, after many campuses had lifted COVID-19 restrictions. Respondents were asked about their encounters with various forms of violence, including verbal, cyber and physical, from students, parents and guardians, colleagues and administrators. They were also asked if they intended to quit, retire early or transfer to another position within the school system. The study was published May 30 in the journal American Psychologist.

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