- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Kindergarten students have continued to act out at a western Pennsylvania elementary school, despite efforts including a “cooling off” space and extra staff hired to deal with unruly students who allegedly attacked at least 11 teachers this school year.

A kindergarten student pulled a fire alarm while another put his hands on a teacher’s neck while frustrated, Woodland Hills superintendent Alan Johnson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1RS5rKD ).

Both incidents happened Thursday at Edgewood Primary school.

Four teachers and a librarian have resigned from the school since September, and the teachers’ union filed a grievance last month claiming 11 teachers have been assaulted at the school which has 455 students in grades K-3.

The school’s principal has been placed on paid leave and replaced in the wake of the complaints that he didn’t act to stop the incidents. Three additional special education paraprofessionals have been hired because some of the incidents involved special education students, and a “cooling off” area has been designated to help some students control their tempers, officials said.

Johnson said the fire alarm didn’t have a protective covering when it was pulled by the kindergartner, whose parents have been notified.

The student who placed his hands on the teacher’s neck normally has a personal aide with him in class, but didn’t Thursday because the child’s mother had told the school he wouldn’t be attending school. When the student showed up unexpectedly, the teacher didn’t let administrators know he was in class without an aide, Johnson said.

The teacher was not injured by the child.

But Adam Forgie, president of the teachers’ union, said 11 other teachers have been kicked, bitten and scratched by students.

“The point of school is to learn, and there’s not a lot of learning going on when teachers have to constantly worry about their safety,” he said earlier this month.

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