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South Bay educators rallied at the Santa Clara County Office of Education on Wednesday, demanding safer classrooms due to concerns over understaffing.

They claim that the lack of sufficient staff has put them at risk of being injured while working with their special needs students.

During the rally, educators shared stories of injuries they have suffered or instances where they lacked adequate support to handle students with behavioral issues.

Some teachers presented proof of their injuries to the board, emphasizing the need for immediate action to ensure safety.

Members from SEIU Local 521 and the Association of County were also present at the rally.

Cristina Munoz, a special education teacher, recounted an incident where she was physically attacked by an adult student in 2018 when she told him not to pick up a dirty sock from the ground.

Munoz’s story highlighted the challenges faced by educators when working with students who have severe behavioral issues.

The educators clarified that they do not hold the students responsible for the situation, but rather attribute it to management failures in providing appropriate training, support, and resources.

Staff unions representing over 1,300 workers from the Santa Clara County Office of Education were also part of the rally.

Following the rally, the educators proceeded to the board meeting where they displayed a photo collection of injuries they had endured, including severe bites, bruises, hair pulling, and a dislocated knee.

In response, the Santa Clara County Office of Education released a statement reaffirming their commitment to student and staff safety, stating that it remains a top priority for them.

They also expressed their dedication to ongoing collaborations with staff and union leadership.

This is the second time that these educators have rallied for improved safety measures and increased staffing.

They believe that addressing these concerns is crucial to ensuring a secure learning environment for both educators and students.

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