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Fort Lauderdale Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > Work Injuries: When Students Attack Teachers

Work Injuries: When Students Attack Teachers


Anyone who has a teacher as a family member or friend knows that teaching is one of the most challenging professions.  Every weekday during the school year, your skills in conflict resolution and improvisation get put to the test, while you must also ensure students’ understanding of the subjects you teach, and that is only what happens while school is in session.  Your evenings and weekends are spent on writing lesson plans, grading, parent-teacher conferences, supervising extracurricular activities, and, if you teach high school, writing recommendation letters for students’ college applications.  Many teachers also use their personal funds to provide school supplies and, in some cases, food and other necessities for their students.  While the intellectual and emotional labor that goes into teaching is widely acknowledged, most people do not think of teaching as a profession that carries a high risk of work injuries, unlike, for example, construction or working in an industrial warehouse.  Teachers can and do get injured as school, and they have the same right as anyone else to workers’ compensation benefits.  If you have been injured at a teaching job or any other kind of job, a Broward County workers’ compensation lawyer can help you.

The Florida School Where an Unusually High Number of Teachers Have Been Injured by Students

The code of conduct for teachers in K-12 schools forbids them to touch students, except in extreme cases where not touching them would place them in great danger.  That means that, if a student physically assaults a teacher, the teacher cannot fight back.  Oak Park, a school in Sarasota County, has been the source of an increasingly high number of workers’ compensation claims by teachers and other school employees injured in confrontations with students.  In the school district where Oak Park is located, school employees filed 88 workers’ compensation claims in the 2017-2018 school year and 149 in the 2018-2019 school year.  Incidents at Oak Park accounted for a disproportionate number of those claims, namely 50 in the 2017-2018 school year and 96 in the 2018-2019 school year.

Oak Park is a school for students with special needs.  Many of them have severe behavioral and mental health problems that make it difficult for them to manage their emotions and that manifest themselves as aggression toward classmates and teachers.  One Oak Park teacher suffered a serious injury on the second day of school when a teacher attacked him; the attack caused him to lose 86 percent of his hearing.  Many of the teachers who filed claims for injuries were substitute teachers; they may be more vulnerable to aggression by troubled students because they do not have the same educational background as the school’s regular faculty in classroom management for students with special needs.

Contact Us Today for Help

Teachers who get injured at school are eligible to have workers’ compensation benefits cover their medical bills, as well as some other expenses.  Contact a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for help.


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