Report: Teachers Talk School Culture, Safety and Human Rights

Teachers Talk brings the voice of teachers to the debate around safety and discipline in schools. The report by NESRI and Teachers Unite is based on surveys of more than 300 New York City public school teachers from 136 middle and high schools. The report shows that teachers believe punitive approaches toward childern, such as aggressive policing, suspensions and other reactive strategies, undermine the human rights of each child by failing to address the causes of conflict and criminalizing the school environment. Teachers support a holistic, human rights-based approach discipline that uses preventive and constructive approaches to create a postive school cultures, teach behavior skills and use conflict resolution. From the Report:

Conflict resolution and mediation – Over 84% of teachers surveyed said that conflict resolution and mediation are effective or very effective methods for improving safety and discipline. Teachers reported that they need more training so that they can be “the first layer for conflict resolution in any issues that come up with students.” But teachers also said that schools need more intensive programs run by counselors, school aides, or other staff to use conflict resolution and mediation as an alternative to removal when conflicts arise.