A group representing Nebraska public-school teachers is pushing once again for a state law that would allow educators to physically restrain violent students who, in their opinion, pose an imminent threat. The Nebraska State Education Association released a survey of its members Thursday in which teachers reported getting bruises, cuts, torn ligaments, a broken nose and concussions from students. At least one educator said she was hit in the stomach while pregnant, according to the survey.
The group has repeatedly asked lawmakers for legal protections over the last few years, but the measures have stalled. Opponents argued that such a law could be used disproportionately against minority students and students with disabilities. School administrators have previously raised concerns about such proposals as well. A bill is pending in the Legislature and could be debated during the session that starts Wednesday, but its prospects are unclear.
A coalition, including the ACLU, the Arc of Nebraska, Voices for Children, and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators quickly issued a statement saying they are concerned about the bill. They urged lawmakers to do everything they can to limit physical use of force in the classroom.