It was a disheartening morale blow when word of campus safety assistant Dennis Hebert’s student-provoked physical attack circulated through our staff area and classrooms at Fresno Adult School. (First Responders, Jan.3) To make matters worse, that week we had planned a royal retirement send-off for this likeable, admired gentleman. An ambulance ride to a local hospital resulted instead.
What does this say about the educational environment we dedicated teachers, caring classified employees and our serious students have to contend with on a daily basis? Why is there such an increase of student violence at our school sites?
People often blame poverty, drug use, gang involvement, lack of a stable, moral parental upbringing and eroding societal values. What else needs to be examined and remedied is the lax disciplinary attitude of Fresno Unified School District.
We teachers, campus safety assistants and other staff are on the front lines and take the brunt of any violent student behavior. The district needs increased acknowledgment and harsher consequences applied for these disturbing, serious offenses.
I love to teach; I enjoy most of my students. But just recently, my concerned son handed me a can of pepper spray. As in Dennis’s dangerous incident, I hope I never need it.
Edith Barnette, Fresno