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By Andre Senior

TAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) - A Hillsborough County school teacher is ready to give up her chosen profession partly because of the growing trend of teacher assaults.

"I told my husband, I said 'I'm thinking of a new career,'" said Carolyn Lewis, who plans to make this semester her last because some students have become so disruptive.

Lewis points to the most recent incident to take place in Pasco County where a teacher was allegedly choked by her student who apparently erupted in a violent rage.

"It was sad that something like that would happen to a colleague, but I really wasn't shocked," said the 12-year teaching veteran.

The American Psychological Association calls the disturbing growing problem "a silent national crisis."
According to statistics it collected during an independent study, 253,000 teachers, or seven percent, were threatened with injury last year.

For Lewis, she has had her share of encounters with unruly kids that has driven her to call it quits after so many years in the classroom, like the time she was pushed by a student. "I said, 'You need to say excuse me' and she just went off. You're not my mama, you're not this, and you're not that," said Lewis when describing one encounter with a student.

The National Education Association notes that some states have already begun taking action against students who assault teachers. For example, in Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the teachers union will institute a civil action against any student who threatens or hits an employee.

The American Psychological Association said more studies need to be done on teacher assaults and recommended a registry to keep track of assaults nationwide. The hope is that information can be used to better diagnose what is leading to the disturbing trend and figuring out a way to solve it.

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