It is time to get our heads out of the sand if we are going to have a serious conversation about the problem of violence against teachers in the classroom ("Painful lessons," Feb. 16). For years, this has been a well-known fact. I have taught in Baltimore schools for 25 years. I am now retired but still work in a private school as a teacher.

We can look back decades and see a pattern of suppression of the facts pertaining to violence toward teachers. Politicians and administrators are too concerned with their careers to be open and honest. Truly, the problems are deep and go hand and hand with the hardships of poverty, violence and other behaviors that are epidemic in our cities.

We can't wait until the cost is too much from workers' compensation to start looking at the problem because then teachers are made to look like it is their fault. Let's form a commission of retired teachers, current teachers, politicians and administrators. In this way, we will be able to get a well-rounded view of the problem.

Henry Schneiderman, Baltimore

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