As teachers face an ever-increasing number of physical threats in their classrooms, the North Dakota Safety Council and the Hess Corporation teamed up to provide some area teachers the tools they need to keep themselves and others safe in the classroom.

On Tuesday, Nov. 26, over 50 K through 12 teachers from Tioga took part in a four-hour Teacher Safety in the Classroom workshop, where they learned how to handle and control violent behavior, including knife attacks and physical assaults. The workshop was instructed by the Safety Council’s Master Instructor, Don Moseman, who has over 20 years of law enforcement experience to draw on, including hand-to-hand combat instruction and participating in the federal anti-school violence program.

During the extensive sessions, teachers were taught the best practices for handling violence in the classroom, how to recognize potentially violent students as well as what actions can be taken to protect themselves and their students. The educators took part in seven sessions throughout the afternoon, covering topics such as the impact bullying has on schools and teachers, how best to respond to violence and assaults, legal questions and what other states are doing to prevent violence in their own schools.

“I think all of you and your students should be able to come to school and not be fearful that something bad could happen,” Moseman told the assembled teachers. “If somebody would have told be 30 years ago that the three places you’re most likely to experience violence was where you work, where you go to school and where you go to church, I would have told you that you’re nuts, but that’s our new reality.”

The workshop was made available free to the teachers thanks to grant funding provided by Hess Corporation. The North Dakota Safety Council will be hosting a School Violence Prevention Workshop as part of a pre-conference event for the Council’s Annual Safety & Health Conference on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in Bismarck. The event will feature Moseman, as well as guest speaker Missy Dodd, a former high school teacher and school shooting survivor. The conference itself runs Feb. 25 to 27.

For more information on the upcoming workshop, visit www.ndsc.org/annualconference.

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