A teacher’s Facebook post about the abuse educators endure from many of their students in the classroom and the lack of action taken by their employers to protect them has gone viral, shedding light on just how “toxic” the profession can be.
Annie Demczak took to the social media site on Tuesday to share her anger and frustration at the fact that we advise women in abusive situations to get out of them, yet we do nothing to protect female educators from being assaulted by the kids they’re trying to teach.
“We tell women (and men) that if someone hits you, screams at you, tells you that they’re going to kill you, tells you their going to bring a gun and shoot you, steals from you, destroys your things, threatens your friends, curses at you, mocks you, makes fun of your physical appearance, GET HELP. RUN AWAY. IT IS NOT OKAY. LEAVE THE ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. CUT TIES,” she wrote.
“YET when a student does any of the above to a teacher, we don’t acknowledge it as a red flag, we give them no consequences, we allow it to continue without any regard to a teacher’s well-being, safety or mental health.”
Demczak goes on to call teaching “the most toxic profession I know of” and said that instead of protecting students, schools expect them to “to show up with a smile on their face, ignore the issues, reward dangerous and toxic behavior and do as your told.”
Because of this, many teachers end up believing that being assaulted by their students is just part of the job and something they have to put up with.
Demczak said that while she genuinely loves all her students, even those with troubled backgrounds, it’s important to set boundaries and introduce consequences when they’re not respected.
“I love all my students. I love the students with trauma. I love the students with mental illness. I love the difficult students. I love the violent students….because I’m a teacher and my heart is made of glitter and marshmallows and happiness and rainbows. Loving little people with abandon is what I freaking do,” she wrote.
“But sometimes, loving someone looks like setting boundaries. Consequences. Hard conversations. Seeking additional support. Reporting dangerous behavior. Standing your ground. Finding alternative placements.”
She went on to encourage her fellow teachers to speak up about these situations as they happen and not to worry about losing their job or facing repercussions from the parents of the students involved.
She also encouraged parents of students to advocate for their kids’ teachers and check in on them regularly to ensure teachers are protected.
“We have GOT to do better,” Demczack added.
Her post has received over 69,000 likes and 82,000 shares since it was posted.