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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Getting Injured Part of the "Job" or Not

Getting Injured Part of the "Job" or Not

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Recently it seems that it is becoming more the expectation that special educators will be injured on the job, and furthermore we should not complain or file accident reports. I am CPI trained and have never had to use restraint until this year. I avoid it even to getting injured myself. However when injured I will file a report. Personally I think that the student and the teacher have equal rights to be safe in the classroom setting. If restraint has to be used repeatedly shouldn't a behavior manifestation meeting be held and LRE discussed? Are other special ed teachers getting hurt on the job?

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P. Svec's picture
P. Svec
Primary Special Ed. Teacher (Retired)

I,too,worked in a classrom of 8, 6 year old students with severe disabilities, as well as medically fragile. When I found out the makeup of the classroom with one assistant who didn't want to work, I called the supervisor to let her know that there was no way that I could possibly handle the amount of work and medical procedures (3 tube-feedings and all in diapers). Since this was an inner city school with little to no resources, I was told that I was educated to do this job and just do it! One of the children was so fragile that he was accompaniedby a nurse. Everyday, I wondered what I was doing there, performing so many medical procedures. One day, while tube-feeding one child,he became agitated and violent. Restraining him, I pulled my shoulder out of the socket. Let me add that this little one was both blind and deaf. To make a long story short, I left the classroom and went on medical disability until after shoulder surgery. While I was on leave, one of the children died from serious heart disease. Fortunately, I was soon hired at another school district. When you think that you are having a bad day,just recall this story. I really loved my job, but often we are placed in impossible situations at the expense of the children. Heartbreaking!

K. S New York's picture
K. S New York
Special Ed NY

All I have to say is 'post concussion syndrome.' I was attact after 21 years of teaching special needs students of all different ages. This is the first year that I ever pressed charges on one of my students. My building has gonr from students with emotional issues to students with every kind of issue on the book. I have been out of work since Oct. 15,09 and I do believe we need to hold our student accountable for thir actions.

AU TX's picture
Autism self-contained grades K-4

If I were to fill out a police report, I would be looking for another job.

Marcia Rajaniemi's picture

I work in our school district's day treatment program Our district is very supportive and encourages to seek medical attention is we are injured by a student. Furthermore, if one of my high schoolers lays a hand on a staff member we are encouraged to file charges. Unfortunately, our local law enforcement has actually stated that we take on the risk of injury by the nature of our job and they will not follow through with a complaint. What message does this give to teens about anger management?

jhence's picture

emotional support classroom it is part of the job. shouldn't be but it has become the norm

jhence's picture

emotional support classroom it is part of the job. shouldn't be but it has become the norm

Patti-Jo Picinich's picture

My district also gave us similar training. I haven't had to use it too much. A behavior support plan shoud be developed with the help of a psychologist. I have found it takes more an more paperwork to even consider a more restrictive environment, which allows more time for a possible injury to occur. Administration at the district office has usurped the IEP team's authority in many areas due to the impact of zealous parents w/ advocates/attorneys.

Patti-Jo Picinich's picture

I got my nose broken once..but not too badly..a boy banged me with his head, but I felt like I shouldn't have been behind him. Sounds like you had more than just physical should have filed for emotional due to trauma.

2educate's picture

a behavior support plan needs to be developed asap. you also need to look at a Behavior Intervention Plan if the behaviors are frequent and severe (which it sounds like). YES an IEP dealing with LRE and Behavior needs to be held ASAP - You also need to keep all paperwork, documentation and REPORT the injuries just like you would for the student, this will be the information you give for the IEP, BIP and BSP - without documentation - it didn't happen...

Erin E. Wallace's picture
Erin E. Wallace
high school teacher, SLD,ED, OHI

I spent many years teaching at a non-public school where we were trained quite a bit. I was hurt several times and sent to workers comp and/or the ER. Now that I am at a district I am with SLD students, not as much danger, no training provided. If I did get into a position I would not be covered by up-to-date training. I definitely think that as students exhibit extreme behaviors teachers need, deserve, training that will keep the students and themselves safe

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