News & Info

Teachers resign at Pennsylvania school where they claim to be attacked by first-grade students

By  | 

Teachers say they’re being terrorized by unruly students as young as six in a Pennsylvania school district where more than 40 teachers have resigned since the start of the school year.

Amanda Sheaffer, a first-grade teacher who attended a Harrisburg school board meeting on Monday, said, “I have been kicked, punched, hit, scratched. I’ve had a student physically restraining me in front of my other students,” according to

Sheaffer, who has worked in the district for four years, said the incidents interrupt her day, as she’s required to clear the room, call security, and write a report.

Teachers are now asking for support after a series of violent altercations with students led to at least 45 resignations between July and October, according to the Harrisburg Education Association.

Association President Jody Barksdale, who says more teachers have resigned since then, wants the association to establish a task force to address the children displaying violent behavior.

“Teachers and students are being hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at … and observing other students flip over tables, desks and chairs. Teachers have had to take the rest of their class into the hallway to protect them during these outbursts,” Barksdale said.

Several teachers and parents from Melrose and Downey elementary schools appeared at the meeting on Monday, calling for the school board to take action after Barksdale first relayed complaints in January.  The district claims not all of the teacher resignations were due to student violence. Still, Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney says the district understands that there is a “different type of support that is needed.”


You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply