A teacher has been injured and a youth charged with assault following an incident at a school in Chestermere earlier this month.

On March 6, RCMP were called to Chestermere Lake Middle School.

A Rocky View School Division spokesperson confirmed to Global News a teacher was injured by a student.

RCMP said a youth was charged with assault causing bodily harm.

A teacher at the school who Global News agreed not to identify, told Global News the the victim suffered a broken nose.

The president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association said, in a recent survey of the association, members indicated they are seeing a rise in aggression.

“Mostly verbal and gesturing within their classrooms over the last year. We are seeing some damage to teachers’ personal property as well, and that is concerning to teachers because we are seeing more of this happening on a daily basis within our schools,” said ATA president Jason Schilling.

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Schilling said teachers are dealing with more social, emotional, behavioural and mental health issues now then they have in the past.

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“Having the supports in place in school to work with students who are having difficulties is really important and we have not seen that funding keep pace with the needs of our students,” Schilling said.

According to a teacher who works at the school, the student who was charged had support from an educational assistant in previous years and spent much time in the learning resource room, but was now in a regular class.

Rocky View Schools won’t share the details because of privacy reasons. In a statement, a spokesperson for the school division said safety is a priority.

“We do not tolerate acts of violence in our schools and take any risk to safety very seriously. All incidents are promptly and thoroughly investigated with those directly involved and next steps are determined based on the individual needs of the situation. We cannot share details due to privacy but can provide reassurance that we have strong protocols and processes in place to respond to incidents and ensure supports are available to all who may need them,” said Tara de Weerd, director of communications with Rocky View Schools.

Rocky View Schools can’t confirm if the student was expelled but teachers say that doesn’t solve the problems of high needs students.

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Schilling said everyone has a role to play including  government, parents, wraparound services and school boards.

“That’s one of the frustrations that has been expressed by our members is the follow through with school boards on that. We want the best interest of the child in place, but we also want to make sure that staff are safe and protected as well. It’s finding that balance of working with school boards on a case by case basis when we see incidences come up,” Schilling said.

Schilling said professional development on how to de-escalate situations is necessary as well.

“We need to look at the factors that led to being in that spot,” Schilling continued. “Are there supports in place for the teachers and students so that we don’t get to these circumstances?”

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