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Tulsa Teachers Tackle 'Widespread' Behavior Issues In Classroom

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Tulsa Teachers Tackle 'Widespread' Behavior Issues In Classroom Tulsa Teachers Tackle 'Widespread' Behavior Issues In Classroom
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association is asking the Tulsa Public School District and the community for help in addressing extreme behavior issues in the classroom.

The president of the association spoke Monday night at a board meeting.

She said it's a new issue that teachers have not seen before happening primarily in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and needs to be addressed head on.

"We are talking about hitting teachers, biting, kicking, cursing them out, head butting and running away," said Patti Ferguson-Palmer, TCTA president.

Ferguson-Palmer said she's heard about the issue since the beginning of the school year.

She said young kids who have experienced trauma are at times lashing out.

She said it's a district-wide issue and that teachers and principals don't have the resources to help students.

"It's everywhere. It is not one part of town, it is not one socioeconomic group — it's widespread," she said.

Teachers are meeting with the district to find a way to work together on the issue.

Ebony Johnson of Student and Family Support Services said she feels for the teachers who have experienced disruptive behavior and understands the challenges. 

"You have students that are still learning what it means to manage their emotions and so that's actually a part of teaching and how to best serve students," Johnson said.

She said it is important the district continue to provide resources for teachers and principals but admits there is always room for additional support to get to the root of the issue.

"We do not want our teachers to feel as though they are not supported so we are up for the challenge," Johnson said.

Johnson said safety is priority one.

TPS is planning a training later this week to support pre-k, kindergarten, first and second grade teachers and principals.

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