ETFO launches survey gauging school violence

An empty classroom. (Photo by Wokandapix from Pixabay)

In 2017, the union representing public elementary school teachers across Ontario asked its members about violence.

What the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario found was troubling.

Not only were public elementary schools experiencing violence, but the survey also showed the problem was significant and growing.

On Wednesday, the union will launch another survey of its members, and it doesn’t expect the problem has improved. If anything, it believes the new poll will show violence has gotten worse.

“Violence against ETFO members remains a concerning, pervasive, and growing issue,” said ETFO President Karen Brown. “Many school spaces are not safe, especially for those working on the front lines with students whose needs are not being met.”

The union hopes the results will convince the Ford government to act to stem the violence.

“Without adequate funding of dedicated resources and supports for students who need them, violent incidents will continue to threaten safety, and compromise learning and working conditions,” added Brown.

“This is a human rights issue,” said the union.

It plans to use the results to raise public awareness, advocate for change, and develop resources for members who assert their health and safety rights in the workplace.

The survey, conducted by Strategic Communications Inc., will close on March 8.