Teachers Union president believes fallout from pandemic led to violence in some schools
Bedford High School has been closed since Monday and is not expected to reopen until next week as a security plan is devised following multiple fights inside and outside of the school.
BEDFORD, Ohio (WOIO) -The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic may be a significant contributing factor as some school districts across the state and the country deal with growing violence in the schools.
That’s the opinion of Scott DiMauro, the President of the Ohio Education Association, the Union that represents thousands of Ohio teachers.
Bedford High School closed on Monday, a decision made but the district in consultation with the Bedford Police Department after multiple fights caused disruption to at least two high school football games and became a lingering threat inside the high school.
“Part of what happened is there was a lack of socialization and a lack of support for the social and emotional needs of students in our communities and we know that there are mental health challenges that students and staff are facing in these circumstances,” DiMauro said.
DiMauro said it is now more important than ever to ensure sufficient state and federal funding for schools as districts try to deal with an ongoing pandemic and students who across the state who have significant social and emotional needs.
“Our members are so stressed out as it is, because of staff shortages, because of continuing challenges of teaching through the pandemic which has not gone away,” DiMauro said, “Layer on top of that these type of behavior issues and it really does create a lot of stress.”
That is just one reason why it is critical, DiMauro believes that teachers have a seat at the table as an enhanced security plan is devised for Bedford High School and DiMauro is confident that local representatives at Bedford High have been given that opportunity.
That the district and the police department are working together to devise a plan to keep the schools safe is a good sign, a proactive approach to the problem, DiMauro said.
The hope is that Bedford High School will reopen by Wednesday.
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