When is it alright for an educator to put their hands on a student? (I don’t mean shaking their hands as they enter the classroom as suggested by Harry Wong!) The blanket answer is never, especially when dealing with a situation where you are disciplining the student. However, in my years in education I have seen an administrator punched by a student, a student continue to go after another student in a fight, students blatantly ignore teachers directives, and other situations where you want to put your hands on a student, not in an aggressive manner, just to get their attention.
Training in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention teaches proper techniques in restraining and transporting students in a manner that will not cause harm to the student or the adult, but unless you practice these techniques to where they become second nature they are useless in a crisis situation. I have had the training and have abandoned it in times of need, relying on a good old fashioned bear hug. I have never hurt a student nor do I ever intend to, but shouldn’t educators be able to restrain a student to prevent them from doing harm to themselves or others? Should we be able to hold their arm to get their attention without fear of a lawsuit? Despite our best intentions the bottom line is HANDS OFF!!!!!!