Understanding and preventing violence directed against teachers: recommendations for a national research, practice, and policy agenda

Am Psychol. 2013 Feb-Mar;68(2):75-87. doi: 10.1037/a0031307. Epub 2013 Jan 7.


Violence directed against K-12 teachers is a serious problem that demands the immediate attention of researchers, providers of teacher pre-service and in-service training, school administrators, community leaders, and policymakers. Surprisingly, little research has been conducted on this growing problem despite the broad impact teacher victimization can have on schooling, recruitment, and retention of highly effective teachers and on student academic and behavioral outcomes. Psychologists should play a leadership role in mitigating school violence, including violence directed toward teachers. There is a need for psychologists to conduct research accurately assessing the types and scope of violence that teachers experience; to comprehensively evaluate the individual, classroom, school, community, institutional, and cultural contextual factors that might predict and/or explain types of teacher violence; and to examine the effectiveness and sustainability of classroom, school, and district-wide prevention and intervention strategies that target teacher violence in school systems. Collectively, the work of psychologists in this area could have a substantial impact on schooling, teacher experience and retention, and overall student performance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Faculty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data