Feature photo: Teacher wearing BitePRO bite resistant arm guards / BitePRO Newswire press release
WETHERBY, ENGLAND, UK — As violence against teachers continues to be a regular occurrence in schools around the world, British bite resistant clothing producer BitePRO have reported record sales.
The American National Center for Education Statistics reported an estimated 962,300 violent incidents in 2019, while assaults on school premises in the UK soared 72 per cent in the four years up to 2019 according to the online publication ‘Schools Week.’
In October 2019, an Australian public-school worker was repeatedly bitten by one of her students.
“I was bitten on the arms; I was bitten on the stomach and I was bitten on the leg. That was day one.”
According to BitePRO’s international survey, 95 per cent of participants confirmed they had experienced biting, scratching or pinching behaviour in the workplace, and 89 per cent had personally sustained such types of injury as part of their roles.
50 per cent of participants indicated that they had received an injury (bite, scratch or pinch) in the workplace that needed medical attention.
So the bad news is; educators continue to experience rising violence in the workplace – the good news; nearly 83 per cent of survey participants confirmed the number of injuries had been reduced since wearing bite resistant clothing.
“Those charged with the health and safety of education professionals have a legal duty, through the risk assessment processes, to examine workplace hazards, identify those at risk and take measures to control those risks,” said Robert Kaiser, CEO of BitePRO in a press release.
“We know a lot about the phenomenon of school violence and the subsequent injuries teachers suffer from. We also understand that comfortable protective clothing, preventing human bites or other injuries is an effective way of mitigating that risk.”
Many other reports have concluded that too many teachers have had their careers ended prematurely as well as their lives ruined as a result of violent incidents at work that caused significant long-term physical and psychological injuries like stress, anxiety and depression.
An interesting finding while looking through the survey results indicates that many in careers involving these risks don’t think the general public even realize that being bitten is a genuine risk with nearly 98 per cent agreeing with that statement.
The blog goes on to say;
“It is a very emotive subject, and one which can be difficult to broach with people and companies who do not always want to talk about staff being injured. Some may even be concerned about potential internal repercussions when talking freely about worries, concern or personal experiences.”
The most shocking part of the blog – in New York it was still legal and was quite common to practice face-down and prone restraint of children until just recently when changes to how workers de-escalate situations with children.
“The use of prone restraints on children in any setting has always been an inhumane and barbaric practice, capable of inflicting significant harm and trauma,” said Dawne Mitchell, attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice in an article from ‘The City.’
The changes came on January 2, which now only permit the use of “de-escalating rooms,” meant to be “calming” rather than disciplinary. Children must consent to entering the room.
This differs from the use of isolation rooms where a child was placed alone as punishment.
The survey indicated that nearly 83 per cent of participants agreed that “restraint (of any type) increases the risk” of a workplace injury.
Even more shocking – a 16-year-old boy died last May as a direct result of prone restraint. The incident occurred in a facility of teenagers with behaviour problems and mental health needs. (Three people have since been charged.)
Did you know it was common for educators to experience injuries from biting, scratching or pinching in the workplace? Let us know by leaving a comment.
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