Hiram Johnson teachers contemplate retirement over recent on-campus violence

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Several teachers at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento said they are sick and tired of the recent uptick in violence on campus and are looking to leave the district or retire early.

Special education teacher Rickey Redding told FOX40 he is scared to go to work every day.

“I don’t feel safe coming to work through the parking lot. I don’t feel safe leaving it,” he explained. “I’m constantly looking over my shoulder.”

Just last month, Redding said there have been at least three violent encounters on campus.

“We need SRO security,” said American Sign Language teacher Connie Steinman.

The problem has gotten so bad that Steinman said she is considering ending her 21-year career at the school.

“I was thinking of retirement and I think about it a lot,” she told FOX40.

Redding said he isn’t too far behind either.

“Looking at the job availability quite often. I think about retiring, I think about it obsessively,” Redding said.

Superintendent Jorge Aguilar accepted a $1 million check on campus Monday that would go toward a new sports and career program.

Aguilar said none of that money will go toward school safety but believes communicating with students will help curb the violence.

“The importance of building relationships with our students and adult caring relationships, which is what our students are looking for as well,” Aguilar said.

Even with the recent spike in violence at Hiram Johnson High School, the superintendent told FOX40 he’s dedicated to making sure all staff and students are safe.

“These are safe havens for our students. They have to be safe havens for our students and our faculty as well,” Aguilar said.

But those are just words to Redding and Steinman.

“Where’s the action? Where are the SROs? Where’s the increased security?” Redding asked.

FOX40 asked the superintendent if there would be extra funds for on-campus security, but he responded by stressing the importance of community support for students.

The president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association provided FOX40 with a statement on the recent violence on campus.

The district needs to work with teachers, rather than against us, to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. That begins by addressing the staffing shortage and actually listening to teachers.

David Fisher, President of the Sacramento City Teachers Association

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