CEA UniServ Representative Suzanne Haviland addressed East Hartford and Manchester teachers at a recent workshop.
Teachers are often most familiar with the support their union provides when it comes to negotiating contracts or filing grievances. The support that CEA staff offers to members extends far beyond those issues, however, as teachers in East Hartford and Manchester found out recently.
Teachers in both districts have seen a sharp rise in problematic behavior among students in recent years. From out and out assaults to a variety of troubling behaviors, some students’ actions and the lack of policies and procedures to address them have been severely impacting classroom learing and the morale of the teaching staff. Read more
CEA members (left to right) Carmella Lorusso, June Kozloski, and Ann Carone wait to tell the Judiciary Committee about their experiences with teacher assault.
A high school student slammed the classroom door on Ann Carone’s arm. The Bridgeport teacher suffered tendon and muscle sprains that required physical therapy and caused her pain for several months. The student responsible did not spend any time in detention or suspension.
“It is my biggest fear that this student has been sent a message that it is alright to injure teachers and others in authority because no corrective action will be taken,” Carone told the State Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.
She testified at a public hearing on Senate Bill 1163 – An Act Concerning the Assault of a School Employee – along with four other CEA members: Diane Baughn, Cathy Delehanty, June Kozloski and Carmella Lorusso. Legislators at the hearing received copies of the February-March CEA Advisor which featured Baughn’s story as well as those of Kozloski and teacher Peter Zezima.
CEA staff member Robyn Kaplan-Cho asked legislators to “Please support Senate Bill 1163 and allow the judicial system to respond to the seriousness of an assault on a school employee.”
Assaults on the rise
Lorusso is the Grievance Chair for the Bridgeport Education Association. She told the Judiciary Committee, “As I communicate with teachers throughout the district, I hear an increasingly alarming number of stories from teachers who have been assaulted by their students.”
Perhaps you or a colleague are one of the growing number of educators who have been assaulted by a student.
Tell the Judiciary Committee to support SB 1163
Email members of the Judiciary Committee who represent your town and tell them to support Senate Bill 1163. Click here to find a list of Judiciary Committee members, their email addresses and suggested points to use in your email. If you have a personal story regarding this issue, please share it with your legislators.