The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says 70 per cent of its provincial membership has experienced or witnessed violence in schools.
That revelation comes from an ETFO-sponsored survey of its members’ experiences during the 2016-17 school year.
Incidents of violence could involve students hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting or biting teachers, among other things.
Janet Bigham, president of the Simcoe County ETFO, said this is the first time the teacher union has done a provincial survey of its members, and the results will help them lobby the government.
“What the government needs to do and what ETFO is asking for is for the government to do an independent review of the funding formula,” Bigham said. “Here in Simcoe, the staff is stretched as far as possible, in many schools, if they were staffed in the ideal way there would be more special education teachers, there would be more educational assistants, there would be more child and youth workers.”