Wisconsin State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, the chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, has introduced the "Teacher Protection Act," a bill prompted by Dan O'Donnell's 2016 investigative documentary "Blood on the Blackboard," which told the stories of dozens of teachers attacked by students in Milwaukee Public Schools.
“School safety is not just for kids—it is vital for teachers and staff as well," Rep. Thiesfeldt said. "While I wish it were not necessary to bring legislation forward on this issue, we must bring this serious discussion to the light of day on how we can better protect our teachers."
The measure, which is currently being circulated for co-sponsorship, allows teachers to remove a violent student from their classrooms for up to two days, gives teachers the ability to call for an independent or school board review of violent acts by students if those teachers feel their school administrators are not handling violent incidents properly, and allows teachers to terminate their employment contracts if they are the victim of violence and no longer feel safe returning to work.
The bill would also require schools to more comprehensively and accurately report and keep records on violent incidents involving students while simultaneously allowing teachers a more thorough review of their students' behavioral records.
Rep. Thiesfeldt outlined his legislation in an interview on The Dan O'Donnell Show Tuesday morning.