BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A task force of teachers and other community leaders gathered for the second time Friday to tackle school safety following a series of attacks on educators and support staff over the past three months.
Marietta English, the longtime leader of the Baltimore Teachers Union, said the group focused on the schools’ Code of Conduct, which several teachers believe needs to be revamped.
Just two weeks ago, the union expressed outrage that a student at National Academy Foundation—an East Baltimore school near Johns Hopkins Hospital—attacked a school nurse and an aide.
It happened just weeks after the same student reportedly attacked a cafeteria worker and broke her arm
The Baltimore Teachers Union issued a statement in December that said “under no circumstances should this student have been allowed to be readmitted” to the school.
The nurse said she was bitten, had some hair pulled from her head, and suffered a mild concussion.
A member of the task force told WJZ Friday that she had not returned to school and remained “traumatized” by what happened.
Sergeant Clyde Boatwright, who heads the school police officers union, said the Code of Conduct needs to be clearer about punishment.
“There has to be some accountability. Someone has to speak for the victims of these students,“ Boatwright said. “We want kids in school. We want kids to be in a learning environment that is nurturing and safe. However, we cannot allow our staff members to be subject to assault. No student should be able to assault someone without consequences. If we allow that, then we are ultimately setting them up for failure in real life.“
Ten students from West Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High School attended the task force meetings Friday. A student at that school was captured on video hitting a teacher who had just returned to campus after being treated for cancer.
The task force plans another meeting in February.
They will then compile their recommendations and give them to school administrators and the Maryland Department of Education.