Media Release

Teachers Experiencing Increased Aggression in Schools

Media Release

A startling new report from the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) is shedding light on the issue of aggression in schools. Titled Aggression in Schools: A Comprehensive Examination, the report underscores alarming trends and challenges faced by educators across the province.

Key findings from the report reveal a stark reality: 52 per cent of teachers reported that they have experienced bullying or violence in their work environment. This aggression, most often occurring in person (95 per cent) and initiated by students in teachers’ own classrooms (60 per cent), is a concerning trend that demands immediate attention.

“Aggressive behaviour disrupts the learning environment, leaving both teachers and students feeling vulnerable and unsupported.”

—teacher response from study

The report also delves into the impact of societal and cultural divisions, particularly evident post pandemic. More than two-thirds (71 per cent) of teachers and school leaders reported that they had witnessed students engaging in demeaning or hateful remarks toward peers with differing views, leading to hostile exchanges outside the classroom.

These remarks—spanning topics including sexual orientation, gender identity, race, COVID-19 policies, and climate change science—reflect broader societal tensions permeating school environments.

Considering these findings, the ATA is calling for urgent action to address aggression in schools. This includes comprehensive training programs for educators, enhanced support systems for victims, and a concerted effort to foster inclusive and respectful school cultures.

“The safety of all Alberta teachers and students must be prioritized by government. Our schools need to be a place where optimal learning environments are fully funded while ensuring safety, respect and support.”  

—ATA president Jason Schilling

Teachers remain skeptical of the current measures in place to reduce aggression. Many note that modifying classroom instruction to manage aggressive behaviour often leads to the loss of valuable instructional time.

As Alberta’s education system grapples with these pressing challenges, teachers stand united in their commitment to fostering safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments for all students.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, supports teachers’ professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.