Former Teacher Recalls Harsh Conditions

Maggie Wade, WLBT (Jackson, Miss.), May 18, 2006

Last year 277 teachers were assaulted in schools across the state. In 2004 288. This is a follow up to a report on teacher attacks that we first told you about. A former Jackson teacher opens up about what goes on daily in classrooms, where students and parents threaten, verbally and physically abuse teachers.

Michael Herndon was a teacher in Jackson for almost two years. He quit in January.

“I mean the first year was unbelievable. The first week of school I had a girl call me m-f’er and I could just go m’fing wherever I wanted to go.”

Herndon worked in accounting for almost 30 years before going back to school to become a teacher.

“Why did I spend $60,000 for an education beyond middle aged to teach children and end up in an environment where I’m cussed out, physically abused?”

Herndon taught at Whitten Middle School. He says he has the highest regard for the other educators he worked with and the administration at the school, but.. What he experienced drove him away from the job he worked so hard to get. Like kids using racial slurs.

“It began with the m-f, the cussing and , you just don’t need to be here you honkey.”

He was also assaulted.

“Knocked down on the concrete floors, children walk by and thump the back of your head, throw pennies at you.”

He saw another teacher hit so hard she had a concussion.

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Herndon says there are 16 and 17 year old students in seventh grade. He says many of the parents just didn’t care.

“We had a situation with one child, it took us five months to get a parent.. To get a hold of a parent.”

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