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Teacher claims chaos detailed in grievance at Racine school is true

Posted: 4:54 PM, Nov 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-20 00:17:46Z

A teacher at Mitchell Middle School in Racine said, in his opinion, a grievance filed by staff members there in October paints an accurate picture of a chaotic learning environment. 

In the grievance , teachers at Mitchell claim at least 15 employees have been injured by students there this school year. 

On Monday, the teacher’s union said a meeting with the district to discuss the grievance has been scheduled for December. 

One teacher at Mitchell, who wants to remain nameless, alleges he was assaulted by students on several occasions. 

He is now out of the classroom and said he has injuries to his back, neck, and shoulders. 

In one instance, he claimed a student who got up and left in the middle of his class became unruly while trying to get back inside the room. 

“I started closing the door and, while I started closing the door, he noticed and he just rammed into me like a football player,” the teacher said. “Like I was a rag doll.” 

The teacher described a separate incident in which he confiscated a student’s candy. 

He alleges that student grabbed a broom and became violent, in retaliation, while trying to get the candy back. 

“He kind of twisted my body around with the broom, and he swung at me and missed,” the teacher said. “Then he swung at me again, and hit me really hard in the left arm.” 

The teacher described the atmosphere inside Mitchell School as noisy and often intimidating. 

“The students are always running through the halls, they’re screaming, they’re yelling,” he said. 

He said two sixth grade students in his class got into a fist fight that began in the room but quickly spilled out into the hallway. 

“I had never seen two little boys just fighting like that,” he said. “They were hitting each other in the head.”

“I was trying to get to the phone to call for help, but the other students wouldn’t let me get to the phone or out into the doorway so I could do something about (the fight),” the teacher added.  

The teacher also said he’s frustrated on behalf of the well-behaved students who attend the school and do their best to learn. 

“I feel sorry for them,” the teacher said. “I would apologize to them for the other kids’ behavior.” 

In a statement, the Racine Unified School District said: “We have scheduled a meeting with the union to further discuss their concerns. In addition to that, since receiving there grievance last month the District has made a leadership change at the school and is providing additional resources and support.” 

“We are hearing from individual staff and families that they are already seeing progress and improvement,” the school district said. “The school is also reaching out to families to ask for their support and involvement in making changes to positively impact the school environment.”