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ciao514
ciao514 , Teacher asks:
Q:

What are my rights as a teacher getting hit by her student?

I am a kindergarten teacher in a private school. I am almost daily (3-5 times a week) kicked and punched by one of my students. He also tries clawing/scratching, headbutting, and throwing chairs at me. I am hit hard enough I am left with bruises; I still have bruises on my legs today from two kicks that occurred over a week ago. He also goes after my other students, and when I intervene he turns on me. The other day I was punched in the eye.

I have tried everything I possibly can to reach him and help him, and nothing works. I have reached out to old college professors and my boss for help, and nothing they suggest works either.

Do I have any rights to try to stop this in a legal manner? He has not been removed from our school because there is a lengthy process involved to prevent lawsuits from the parents. I understand this child is 5, but he is dangerous to me and the other students, and I'm at my breaking point.
In Topics: Bullying and teasing, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Dec 22, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Your safety is paramount and so is the safety of the other students while they are at school.  We think that you need to continue to let your administration know that you continue to be in an environment where you do not feel safe due to the behaviors of this child.  We also think this child would benefit from being assessed by a counselor or child psychologist.  It sounds like he is out of control and needs additional assistance in learning how to control himself and his emotions.  

If you continue to reach out and do not get help from your place of business, seek out legal counsel.  Also inform your school you will take this action and it may force them to take the situation more seriously.  

We wish you luck in this very difficult situation.  

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline-A Resource for Parents and Teens
1-800-448-3000
www.parenting.org

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Additional Answers (3)

momosan1
momosan1 writes:
Wow!! There is absolutely NO bylaws or rules within a school that says you have to tolerate being attacked! If they do not do anything, then maybe you need to look into legal options regarding the school you work at and the district.
> 60 days ago

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Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
Remind your administrators about OSHA rules.  You have the right to a safe workplace.  In camps, daycare, and schools if a child bites or draws blood, there is a process to assure you and the child that you are not subject to HIV. I would also send him to the nurse every time he is out of control and ask that he be picked up.  the parent will soon get the message that this child needs evaluation by his pediatrician and the schools guidance support staff.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
> 60 days ago

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DocD
DocD writes:
My answer is not really an answer but a request.  I desire that you pursue a lawsuit against the parents.  Why should a parent have the right to sue you if you hit the child, but you have no right to sue the parent over their inability to raise a controllable child?  While your legal counsel will want to pursue your employer as well, they are only liable in that they do not give you a safe workplace.  This will take much more documentation I am sorry to say in my feeble opinion.  However, the child has already hurt you and other children as well.  We, as teachers, need to set a precedent, legally, that this sort of action is not allowable.  There will obviously be scoffers of suing the parent out there in "internet land," but if every teacher who gets hit by a student sues the parent of the child, the teachers will get the same laws and rights as the parents have for us hitting their child.  Who knows, if you win, you might not have to work anymore.
> 60 days ago

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