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Baltimore County teachers protest discipline problems in schools

Baltimore County teachers stood with red T-shirts before the school board.
Baltimore County teachers stood with red T-shirts before the school board. (Liz Bowie)

Baltimore County teachers protested the lack of discipline in some schools, saying it is putting teachers at risk of being harmed by their students.

A couple dozen teachers stood with red T-shirts before the school board on Tuesday night. The teacher’s union President Abby Beytin said five teachers had been hurt this school year in one school, including one who is still out with a concussion.

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One of those teachers, Jane Sacks, said she was retiring this December because of an assault by a second grade special education student in her classroom. “A student broke my finger on purpose,” Sacks said, who was still wearing a bandage on her hand. She declined to identify the school where she teaches.

Beytin said teachers do not want to change policies to a return to zero tolerance discipline policies as the school system has had in the past.

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Instead, she said, school leaders need to provide more support professionals in place, including school counselors, social workers and psychologists. “We also need smaller class sizes so teachers can meet the needs of all their students,” Beytin said.

“You need to advocate for the resources needed to do our jobs,” Beytin said to the school board.

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