New Mexico teacher Sharon Moran felt forced to quit her job after receiving death threats from her middle school students. Moran, a 12-year veteran in the education field, stated that the administration at McKinley Middle School in Albuquerque did not respond “correctly” to the death threats made by her students.
Sharon Moran, 47, retired from the New Mexico school district not long after a male teacher also employed at McKinley Middle School was injured on the Albuquerque Public School District campus. “I do feel like “I’m being intimidated and I feel like I’m bullied,” Moran said during an interview with local KOAT News. “I had to kind of evaluate every day what kind of situation I’m going into and whether or not I’m safe. My family is concerned for my safety. They worry about me and I think I did the right thing.”
Earlier this school year at McKinley Middle School, 71-year-old male teacher, Vincent Criscuola, was inured while breaking up a fight between two students. The Albuquerque teacher who taught special education classes, was reportedly thrown into a wall and punched during the fight. Criscuola was forced to take time off work to recover from both a neck and spinal sprain and a hip injury after the incident.
The New Mexico special education teacher did decide to go back into the classroom at McKinley Middle School but not that he didn’t “feel safe there.” Vincent Criscuola also added, “It just upsets me. We’re there to teach and take care of these kids and watch out for their safety.”
According to MESA school facts, 82 percent of the students in the McKinley Middle School district are minority students. The United States school district facts website also notes that 62 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch and 52 percent of the parents have never attended college.
The National Education Association had this to say about teacher violence:
“American Psychological Association (APA), 80 percent of teachers surveyed were victimized at school at least once in the current school year or prior year. Violence against teachers is a ‘national crisis,’ says Dr. Dorothy Espelage of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who served as chair of the APA task force on Classroom Violence Directed at Teachers. And yet, the issue is generally ignored or at least underreported by the media and given inadequate attention by scholars – a deficiency that has widespread implications for school safety, the teaching profession and student learning.”
Violence in public schools is not just a concern for teachers, but parents as well. In addition to concerns about the public school curriculum, safety in the classroom has often been cited as a deciding reason to homeschool children by the increasing number of American parents who have opted out of government-run schools.
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