WACO, TX — State leaders are taking a hard stance against students harassing teachers. Come September, lawmakers are rolling out new policies to curb this behavior.
Come September, students who harass teachers will be referred to disciplinary alternative education programs. This will take them outside of the regular classroom.
“I think it’s going to really help those students that need the training and need the skills to understand what we’re looking for," said Israel Carrera, Asst. Superintendent of Operations for Waco ISD, "I think it’s really going to help them, plus it’s going to help our staff and students because it’s going to help us have a safe school.”
Managing behavioral issues in the classroom is a big part of a teacher’s job. However harassment takes away the educational experience for students and hinders the well being of staff.
“We don’t want our teachers to feel like they’re not safe and not supported,” said Carrera.
Teachers say student threats against them are more common than you might think, but the new law aims to curb that behavior.
Several classroom issues will fall under harassment by law: threats to inflict physical harm, making obscene comments, and making repeated phone calls in a way to abuse or alarm another. But identifying harassment can still be difficult.
“There’s not a definition right now for harassment, what does that look like? And so really I think that’s going to be a first year thing that we’re going to have to look at and see what that means,” said Carrera.