Teachers in Fife have suffered a catalogue of injuries at the hands of pupils.
Broken fingers, significant knee injuries, head injuries and even stitches have been reported as a result of violence and aggression in classrooms.
Fife EIS secretary Jane McKeown said many teachers are in permanent “fight or flight” mode, which is impacting on their mental health.
Her comments follow a survey by the teaching union which found 71% of Fife teachers say they experience daily violence.
Ms McKeown said: “I’ve been supporting teachers with broken fingers and people who have been tripped and had significant knee injuries as a result.
“Some have had things thrown at their head and required stiches.
“However, for most of the people I deal with, the emotional effect on them is the most serious.”
Problem has grown significantly
EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley visited Fife this week after the survey results were published.
The EIS findings align with Scottish Government research which was released on Tuesday.
It found 67% of teachers had experienced verbal abuse and 43% reported physical aggression between pupils in the previous week.
And most teachers said the problem had grown significantly over the last few years.
Ms Bradley said: “We know many teachers have suffered physical injuries and that has resulted in the hospitalisation.
“We know some have had to be absent from work in order to recover.”
She praised Fife Council on its approach to tackling the issue but said more needs to be done.
Fife Council working with union to address school violence
Ms Bradley said: “It seems Fife has already made some positive inroads towards addressing incidents of violent, aggressive and distressed behaviour in schools.
“It’s really heartening the council is collaborating well with the local EIS association.
“And we’re working jointly to acknowledge the issues that are there and work out solutions.
“But I think there was probably mutual agreement that local authorities – including Fife – need to see more money from the Scottish Government in order to properly resource education services.”
Reasons for an increase in classroom violence are put down to poverty and a mental health crisis among young people.
Ms Bradley said many young people are living in deprivation and going to school hungry.