Graphic images accompany the latest report on violence in the classroom from the union representing New Brunswick’s 3,500 educational assistants.
The union says 2,471 cases of violence were reported in the past 16 months by the frontline workers who play a critical role in supporting students with complex needs.
Photos backing up the union’s concerns about safety show educational assistants, known as EAs, with blackened eyes, broken fingers, livid bruises and bites so severe, the individual teeth marks are visible.
“You’re the shield between the teacher and the violent child,” said Theresa McAllister, provincial president for CUPE Local 2745.
“It could be somebody swinging a broom at you. It could be a headbutt. It could be a punch, a bite, a scratch, feces, you name it.
The union said the high number of violent incidents points to the province’s failure to protect the EAs spread across the province in a school system serving more than 97,000 students.