The Violent Society: Confidence ruined by classroom assaults: Judith Judd reports on a victim of violence at school

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The Independent Online
BRUCE REYNOLDS (above), a teacher in Kent, was attacked by a heavily- built 16-year-old girl whom he was trying to discipline.

'She was screaming and totally disrupting the lesson, and when I spoke to her in a sharp voice she started to storm out of the classroom. I stood in the way and she kicked me. She then went to the head and said I had assaulted her. I was the one who was disciplined.

'I'm not too worried about kicks on the shins, but I feel very bitter about the injustice of it. After that, I didn't stand in the way or intervene in fights. It is too risky to even touch pupils.'

Tom (not his real name), a West Midlands teacher, had his confidence in classrooms shattered after he was attacked by an 11-year-old boy in a middle school.

'He was a boy I had tried to help many times but he was persistently refusing to do any work. I told him he would have to do some work. He said 'No'. I leaned over to show him and the next thing I knew he hit me. I stood up and said 'Get on with your work'. He took another swing and started kicking me.'

Tom was not badly hurt and the boy was excluded from school the next day. But he became very depressed and left the profession.