Teaching can be a very rewarding career, but it can also be extremely stressful and, sometimes, dangerous. It is unfortunate that with everything teachers have to deal with every day, sometimes they find themselves dealing with students, parents, colleagues or even strangers committing acts of violence against them at their place of employment. The losses associated with these acts of violence can be significant. Thankfully, teachers in North Carolina who have suffered injuries due to such incidents may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
How prevalent is this problem?
Over the years, teachers from all across the country have participated in surveys about violence experienced while on the job. In 2010, 3,000 teachers were surveyed, and 80% said they experienced violence or abuse by students, parents or other employees. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 9% of teachers have reported threats of injury, while 5% have reported being physically attacked. These numbers do not seem to be improving. Now, roughly 75% of teachers say they have been victims of physical or verbal abuse at least once per school year.
Who is behind the attacks?
Of the teachers who report these incidents, which many do not, they say students are most often behind them. However, 37% say that parents are responsible, and 21% say colleagues are behind the attacks. In many cases, teachers experience harassment or verbal abuse rather than physical violence, but these can still take a significant emotional toll on a person.
North Carolina teachers who suffer injuries on the job, whether physical or emotional, due to acts of violence, may file workers’ compensation claims to have their time off work and medical needs covered until they can get back to work. If they are unable to return to work, workers’ comp benefits are available to help with that as well. Unfortunately, accessing these benefits can prove challenging. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help teachers file claims and fight for maximum benefits.