Monday, January 11, 2010

RH Jones to Representative Denise Driehaus: Proposal targets assaults on nurses. How about teachers too?

From RH Jones, January 11, 2010
Subject: Re: proposal targets assaults on nurses. How about teachers too?

To Rep. Denise Driehaus and all:
According to MedCity News, 01-01-2010, Rep. Dennis Driehaus, D-Cincinnati, plans to introduce in early 2010 a bill that would increase punishment for assaulting nurses in the workplace. Personally, I think this increase is long overdue.
My wife, when working as an RN floor nurse at St Thomas Hospital, was punched by a visitor to one of her patients. Needless to say, this was one aspect of nursing that caused her to leave the nursing field, long before being eligible for retirement. Hopefully, Rep. Driehaus will add to the crafting of the bill: that it be made mandatory that copies of this new law -- in both English and Spanish -- will be prominently displayed in bold type and color at each public entrance to wherever the nurse may be employed.
And, I may add, that she include in her bill the same increase in punishment for those who assault educators, school secretaries and any others employed in the school and administration buildings. Personally, I know of many school employees over my 30-years in the classroom, both men and women, who were assaulted, and injured by students, or by their parents and “friends to the family”, while both on and off duty. Some in Ohio have been killed.
In one assault case that I know of, a counselor, who was counseling one of her students, was “sucker punched” in the nose, splattering it and resulting in painful medical surgery. She was left with life-long disfigurement to her looks. And, despite that, she had to hand him his diploma at his graduation! He was not even expelled from school. I have other cases: one involved a rape of a female teacher who was staying on after duty in her room to work on planning lessons. Also, a male assistant principal who was politely asking unauthorized visitors to leave the building when he was violently assaulted and had his nose broken as well. Some educators were beat-up in the parking lots.
The employer must be required to report the assault to the police, charges should not have to be filed by the victim; the prosecutor’s office should file and the police should enforce it. In many cases, due to not wanting bad publicity for their hospitals or schools, superintendents are forced to try to keep such assaults hidden; they ask employees not to press charges. but, even, a fine superintendent with whom I am acquainted, had to install a quick exit type of a door close behind his desk so that he could hastily exit when angry persons charged at him. Copies of the new law, therefore, should be placed boldly in every entrance to all medical and school buildings.
In our increasingly violent and diverse society, is not it time that educators too are better protected by law, so that they can go on about educating our public to, therefore, free society from ignorance so that all who live in Ohio can become happier? Please, Rep. Driehaus your new bill is great; but, add to it educators; and, add, both prominent and permanent posting of the new law, into your bill. I am sure it will pass. Good health and education equals happiness; who can argue against that? That is my opinion,
Robert H. Jones, a retired teacher STRS member
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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