Teachers in the UK are now buying themselves stab proof vests for work
As the attacks on teachers in classrooms raise annually, so does the sale of protection vests to the teachers. It’s not firearms that the classroom students are using, but sharp-edged instruments that they can stab with. So the main focus of the teachers is on stab proof vests. Teachers across the country have received vigorous training in self-protection as well.
Oliver Lincoln, commercial director at an armor retailer in the UK, said: “We used to sell the odd vest here and there to teachers - certainly no more than a handful a year. Suddenly, in the past 12 months, we've had a significant rise in that number.”
The Department for Education published statistics showing that children as young as five are increasingly being sent out of the classroom after attacking school staff. Nearly38,000 pupils were temporarily suspended by state primaries in England, with offences including possession of drugs, sexual misconduct, racist abuse and theft. Many teachers are even fearful of coming to work.
The NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) is both a Lobby group and TUC-affiliated trade union representing teachers, including headteachers, throughout the U.K.A spokesman for the organization - the largest teachers' union in the UK - said the organization had 'serious concerns' about the rise in sales.This may have come as a direct result of changes in legislation, causing teachers to be more vulnerable to attack.
Chris Keates, general secretary for NASUWT, said: 'Schools should make full and appropriate use of statutory measures to minimize potential antisocial behavior, including effective arrangements for the detection of weapon and replica weapons and the appropriate use of pupil searches.However, NASUWT is seriously concerned changes in the Education Act 2011, which introduced the power for pupils to be searched by a member of staff without a witness being present, has made teachers more vulnerable.
'The increase in the number of teachers purchasing these vests may be a consequence of this change and indicates ministers are failing to make schools safer places for staff and pupils.
'NASUWT is clear searches must be conducted by appropriately trained staff and there should be no requirement or expectation that teachers should undertake pupil searches.'
The NASUWT has initiated a number of influential campaigns in recent years, including a campaign leading to the abolition of a code of conduct proposed by the General Teaching Council, a campaign recognizing the effects of cyber bullying, a campaign to preserve the anonymity of teachers from malicious or false allegations, and a campaign to bar members of the British National Party from the teaching profession.