CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A new law will quantify attacks by students on teachers, something not required in Ohio until now.
We reported earlier this year on a simple question: are there more attacks on teachers, or because of cell phone cameras are we just seeing more of them. The answer was that officials just don't know.
The passage of Senate Bill 133, which was signed into law by Governor will address that. The bill's sponsor is Senator Frank LaRose, who worked with teachers to get something done.
One of them was Pam Hinton who suffered severe spinal injuries after being attacked in Barberton.
"She just stood up, started punching me, pulled my hair out and backed me up against a table," Hinton said.
Her injuries required surgery. It motivated her to get something done.
Now it has happened. Currently in Ohio's Educational Management Information System truancy is reported, as are graduation rates, suspensions , student to student violence, but not violence against teachers.
"What this bill would require is when they report that violent incident that we want to know it was against a teacher a non-teaching staff or another student," LaRose said.
The bill would require the reporting for two years. After that the data will be collected to see the size of the problem, and what can be done to address it. LaRose's bottom line is simple, protect teachers and others working with young people but as importantly intervene with young people who need to learn other ways to deal with frustration and problems with violence.
"These young Ohioans that are causing violence in their classrooms, they need help, because that's a pattern that will likely continue on
into their adult lives. My guess is that these are individuals that could end up interacting with the criminal justice system and we don't want to see that," LaRose said.
Governor Kasich has signed the law. It is just a start but an important one as quantifying any problem is the start of a solution. Cleveland 19 will track the data that is reported to the state district by district and let you know how your district shapes up.