Most people wouldn’t classify teaching as a particularly dangerous job. After all, an adult tasked with educating children usually works in a controlled environment with minimal direct employment hazards. However, violence is a pressing issue at many educational institutions.
There are sometimes acts of random, mass violence that affect schools. There are also countless instances in which teachers face physical violence from the students that they spend their lives helping to educate. Although even a young child can cause serious physical harm during an altercation with the teacher, and teenagers could potentially put someone in the hospital. What rights does a teacher have after they experience an assault by a student?
The right to retain their jobs
Employers should allow someone to take a leave of absence necessitated by a work-related medical condition. They should also offer reasonable accommodations that allow an injured teacher to return to work after an assault.
The threat of violence in the classroom may make some adults less effective as educators. They may ask themselves if they can even discipline students anymore, as simple acts like taking away video games can lead to violence. Some students are not accustomed to the word no or any form of boundaries. Others may have pent-up anger from their personal experiences that comes out at inappropriate moments.
Teachers shouldn’t have to worry about losing their jobs because they enforce school rules, like not playing games during class, nor should they worry about losing their jobs if they need medical care and time off following an assault by a student.
The right to workers’ compensation
The Florida workers’ compensation program provides medical coverage and also disability benefits to those with medical issues related to their careers. Any incident that leads to someone’s injury at work can potentially render them eligible for benefits, even in a scenario like an assault where it is a third party, and not an employer, that is technically to blame for the incident.
Teachers traumatized by an assault in the classroom may need benefits to help them physically recover, and they may also require counseling services to help them overcome the trauma that they experienced. Workers’ compensation can help pay for their treatment expenses and replace their wages if they are unable to the classroom after the incident occurs.
Knowing and making use of one’s employment rights, including the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, is of the utmost importance for anyone harmed during their workday – teachers very much included.