Akron classroom violence triggers widespread protest at city's board of education

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - They want their voices heard.

More than 500 teachers and parents came together outside the Akron Public Schools Board of Education office on Monday, after a student body-slammed his teacher.

"It's concerning, and we just want to teach. We want the kids to get the best education and the kids to feel safe," said 8th grade teacher Ellen Belden.

Twenty two grievances have been filed by the teacher's union.

They say violent students should not go back to the classrooms, and teachers should have a voice on whether students should be allowed to return.

This issue is not exclusive to Akron.

Across the state and country, students have been taking out their anger on educators.

"Too many distractions. Students are coming back to school, they're suspended they are cussing us out. They're beating up teachers and then they are coming right back into the classrooms," said 6th grade teacher Janell Brown.

It happened to counselor Dan Richards; he was verbally abused last year and filed a grievance.

The outcome?

"He was returned to our building this school year, which is against our contract," said Richards.

During Monday's school board meeting, president  Patrick Bravo said their voices are being heard.

"We hear their concerns and we take the safety of our students and staff very seriously, and we look forward to working with them and addressing their concerns," he said. "We have a responsibility to make sure everyone feels comfortable. No teacher should feel unsafe in the classroom."

"I can deal with all kinds of different situations. We need the kids safe. We don't need to hear profanity in the hallways. We don't need to hear teachers being threatened."

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