I think every generation thinks that the one that follows it is the worst.  When I was in school and causing trouble, I’m pretty sure that none of my teachers thought I would amount to anything (not that I did much that bad).
I don’t think kids are any worse now than we were, at least not from what I’ve seen.  But they might do things that were unheard of in my day.  Specifically, in the last six months we’ve been contacted by five teachers who were injured when students threw a punch at them.  Even the worst kid at my school 30 years ago would never have thought to do that.
I’ve also spoken to many teachers of late that have been hurt while breaking up fights amongst students.  That certainly does not seem like a new phenomenon.
These aren’t traditional accidents for most workers.  But part of a teacher’s job is to keep the peace in his or her classroom.  So if a teacher gets injured breaking up a fight or by an unruly student, that’s no different than a construction worker hurting his/her back from lifting something heavy.
Of course teachers have all sorts of accidents.  Slip and falls on wet floors.  Back injuries from lifting school materials.  Carpal tunnel if they are doing a lot of typing.
There is no special skill set needed by a lawyer for representation of a teacher, but having experience working with those cases can certainly help.
Back to the original question.  I don’t think that kids are behaving worse than ever before.  There are a ton of great kids out there and a bunch of lousy ones too.  But that’s how it was when all of us were in school.  There are some that do things now that we would have never have done, but I bet that none of the kids today would throw a Rubix Cube at another student like someone at my school did (I swear it wasn’t me).
As for why I’ve noticed more injured teachers of late than ever before, I think it’s just a coincidence.  I’ve seen similar patterns for other jobs in the past.
No matter your profession, we are happy to answer any questions that you have and point you in the right direction if you were injured on the job.


By Michael Helfand