PGCEA President Statement on Largo High School Teacher Assault Incident
Prince George’s County, MD: Last week there was a student and educator involved incident of violence that occurred at Largo High School. Today at 1:15 P.M. is a hearing before a judge and PGCEA is following this incident very closely and realize the implication it will have on the future of our school system. PGCEA President Theresa Mitchell Dudley released the following statement:
“The incident between an educator at Largo High School and a student is a horrific symptom of several issues in Prince George’s County Public Schools. A shortage of Professional School Counselors, mental health services, overcrowded classrooms, training on Crisis Prevention and Intervention strategies for staff, and assaults on staff. These plaguing issues are reflective of the lack of fully funding our schools. The balance of our school system of the proposed expansion of Social Emotional Learning, Trauma-Informed Classroom Training, and de-escalation of hostile situations has not been fully addressed.
The other troubling issue is the student who videotaped the incident and then posted it on social media. This action violates the privacy of the students, and staff involved in the classroom delivering assistance. The student who posted this incident could have placed in peril a protection order by disclosing the location of a victim of abuse. Posting a video without the consent of those involved is a violation of school system policy. This issue is not new as there are many examples of school fight videos being posted regularly.
There is an issue of a lack of respect for educators. Verbal and physical assaults on educators are too common. There is a sense that as an educator we should continue to keep taking abuse, threats, and assaults from students, parents, and administrators because we are the adults in the room. Educators are human and need the same emotional and mental supports as students to ensure that situations are appropriately addressed. Support includes timely responses in two areas; assistance from the administration on root causes of behavior and implementation of necessary supports to address and improve student behavior.
It is time for restoring our schools, students, and community to whole. What restorative practices were in place to build relationships? The “Jerry Springer” culture of our society that condones violence, publicizes it as a virtue, and accepts it as a norm, must cease. Our community must adopt a culture of peace.”
If you would like to more information or to request an interview with PGCEA President Theresa Dudley, contact Joshua Harris [email protected]