What to do When a Student Gets Violent

Unfortunately, violence does happen in the classroom and you will probably come across at least one incident in your teaching career. It is good to have a plan in advance because it is usually surprising and scary when it happens.

1. Keep yourself and the students safe. This will almost certainly involve getting help from the office and perhaps from another teacher who is close. You may need to send another student to get help or you may need to move the students out of the classroom. You may even need to call 9-1-1. Remember you cannot leave students alone, even if you need to leave the room, get a nearby teacher to look in on them. It is good to think about what you will do or say if a student threatens you so you have a plan.

2. Write Everything Down. Once you and the students are safe, write down everything you can remember and keep a copy. You will need to write an incident report for the office and may be required to write a report for the police.

3. Talk to your union and a friend. It’s always good to let your union know what happened and get their advice. It’s also always good to talk over what happened with a friend because it is a shock and it’s important to have good support.

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