Punished for Doing Their Job

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School violence is a problem across the country. Part of the reason is that teachers who attempt to intervene in potentially dangerous situations such as breaking up fights are at risk of themselves being charged with assault. And due to the nature of the threat of litigation, there is little record-keeping and even less data on the exact number of teachers who face such charges. But systematic suppression of this sort of evidence makes our schools even more dangerous or so argues Washington Post education columnist Jay Matthews in his October 28 review of the book Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Teachers and Accusations of Abuse by Matthew Olson and Gregory Lawler. It's an excellent review of a book co-authored by a journalist and an attorney who has defended over 2,000 Colorado teachers accused of abuse over the last 17 years.