Teacher Organization Responds To Increased Violence At DMPS

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DES MOINES, Iowa-- According to an Iowa teacher's organization they are seeing student actions towards teachers increase statewide.

Professional Educators of Iowa is talking about acts like the one detailed in a Des Moines Police report from October 3rd.

A special education teacher at McCombs Middle School says one of her students screamed at her, forced her into a wall, and raised their fist to her face.

“We have teachers that we have worked with that are labeled PTSD because of education issues," Terry Gladfleter with PEI said.

PEI has 3,5000 members, that’s nearly one in ten teachers statewide.

A 2007 internal survey shows nearly 90% of PEI members are concerned about safety, support measures, and disciplinary consistency.

“Students today feel they can tell the teacher what to do and that causes teacher concern," Gladfelter said.

A police report on another student at McCombs shows a student was involved in five fights in a two-week period, but nothing was done until the student slapped a teacher in the face, twice.

That begs the question, why was the student allowed back in class?

“There is a lot of data out there that asks do suspensions work, that becomes an open dialog between teachers’ parents and administration," Gladfelter said.

But that would mean teachers would have to report the violence, something Gladfelter says they're hesitant to do.

“Even from a teacher’s contractual stand point insubordination is something it can be perceived as," Gladfelter said.

Des Moines Police say calls for service at DMPS are up 24% over the last three years.

Again, we reached out to DMPS for comment and have not heard back.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.