State Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn (47th District), has introduced a proposal to strengthen the penalty for those convicted of assaulting a teacher or other school staff member.
"I recently spoke with a resident of our community who is a teacher and felt threatened at work," said Fain, who serves on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. "I was surprised to learn that teachers and staff aren't extended the additional protections available to other public employees including firefighters, court employees and school bus drivers."
Fain's proposal, which has broad bipartisan support, would upgrade the charge for assault of school staff from a misdemeanor to a class C felony.
"Creating an environment where teachers and students feel safe is essential for a productive classroom," Fain said. "While it would be even better if our educators weren't exposed to any violence – physical or verbal – adding them to the list of protected professions aligns with the incredible importance we place on school safety."