Special Ed teacher stabbed & killed at a Texas High School
This is the exact kind of environment I've been working in for the last couple of weeks.
The kids are usually fine, but they can go off for any reason - many things a typical person would not be aware of at all - using words like "don't touch" or "No" will cause some of the students to 'lose it' and act out aggressively.
You must constantly be vigilant to recognize the signs that a student is becoming agitated. The staff carry radios to be able to get help if necessary.
As it is, I was more or less thrust into the classroom, not really knowing any of the protocols or any of the kids. I had to rely on my own knowledge of behavioral issues based on my experience at home with autism. It also helped I had gotten that training with how to escape & evade. I have been pinched intentionally, but not enough to bruise me. I have also been shoved unintentionally - just because most of the students outweigh me by 30-100 lbs.
You might ask how the student in the article got a sharp object, but we are teaching these kids how to feed themselves, and we're using forks to do it. We all carry keys, and anything really sharp (knives, scissors, etc.) gets locked away, but people forget & things get left out here & there.
As this incident happened first thing in the morning, something could have happened on the bus or at home before coming to school & the staff wouldn't have a clue.
I don't know if the student in the article was also mentally handicapped or not. As I understand it, the kids at my new program will not have the mental disability. However, they will be Kindergarten through 8th grade, and not as big as the high schoolers I've been working with these last few weeks.
I'm wondering if this will have any effect on the way our classrooms are currently set up. I can't think of anything else, except maybe more staff, to prevent something like this from happening again...