Teachers at Risk
Every child is entitled to an education, and everyone is entitled to protection from bodily harm. In Minnesota and across the United States, however, schools cannot always guarantee the two for their teachers.
Thanks to an increased cultural awareness, more schools can provide specialized care for students living with disabilities. Teachers who specialize in this field are highly capable but few. Their students often rely on routine and predictability in order to learn, and when their teacher can’t come in to work, it can be a huge setback in their education.
What makes the situation difficult is that in these schools, students can be the biggest threat to their teachers. Their disabilities aren’t their fault, and teachers specialize in these fields because they genuinely care for their students with special needs. Behavioral outbursts are normal, and unfortunately often result in injuries to the students or their teachers. Crises are expected, and teachers and staff are trained to respond to many kinds of situations.
Sadly, in this uncommon learning environment, severe injuries are common. It is not uncommon for teachers to walk away with bruises, scratches, bites, lacerations, broken bones and concussions. In early May of 2018, however, one Minnesota teacher was left with life-threatening injuries and had to be taken to the hospital. Teachers and students were shaken.
Mohammed Dukuly, an education assistant at the Harrison and River Bend Education Center on the north side of Minneapolis Public School district, was attacked by an eighteen -year-old white student on May 22, 2018. Harrison serves high school students who have severe emotional and behavioral needs. Dukuly’s attack is not the first high-profile incident at the school. In 2016, a student assaulted a teacher, and in 2017 a student plead guilty to felony third-degree assault after hitting the school principal.
Dukuly’s case also unveils issues of racism and segregation within Harrison, and the case calls for community action in order to prevent this from ever happening again. To learn more about the outcome of this case, click here for the Star Tribune’s report.
If you are injured as a result of your occupation, you are entitled to fair representation. It is important to know your rights under workers’ compensation law. Most Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys would be happy to discuss with you your options, including potential scenarios in the future and what to look forward to as you move along in the healing process. It is important to stay empowered and know your rights under the law. Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer, Jerry Sisk, offers free no-hassle consultations to allow you an opportunity to be informed so you can make the right choices.