Teachers shouldn’t have to fear for their safety and their lives, but schools and classrooms in too many cities are becoming dangerous places. It is a disturbing trend and must be arrested immediately.
Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School in Danvers, Mass., was stabbed to death early this week, and her body was dumped in the woods behind the school. Afterward, the suspect bought a ticket for a Tuesday screening of the movie “Blue Jasmine,” a law enforcement source told the Boston Herald. Fourteen-year-old Philip Chism was charged with murder in that teacher’s death.
On Monday at Sparks Middle School in Nevada, a 12-year-old student used a handgun he brought from home to fatally shoot 45-year-old, eighth-grade math teacher Mike Landsberry and wound two other students before fatally shooting himself. Landsberry, a former Marine, was called a hero for shielding his students from the gunfire.
In Kansas City, 25-year-old Simone C. Baker was arrested and charged with third-degree assault in the Sept. 5 beating of a 49-year-old kindergarten teacher on Sept. 5. It allegedly was over Baker’s 6-year-old son at Truman Elementary School in the Hickman Mills School District having a scratch on his neck.
Teachers should be treated with respect and reverence for the job they do in educating children and not face contempt, violence and scorn. The nation got a big inkling on Dec. 14 that something was dreadfully wrong.
That’s when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in in Newtown, Conn., killing close to 30 students and educators before he took his own life.
More has to be done to stop such violence and give teachers the support of the community that they deserve for educating children.