Hurt on the job, Utah teachers file millions in worker's comp
Imagine your job costing you three concussions in your first six months. On top of that, bite marks, bruises and pulled hair.
That was the reality for Jamie Moffitt, in what she calls “the life of a para.” That’s para-educator, Moffitt’s position earlier this year at Rose Springs Elementary in the Tooele School District. She showed up on her first day prepared to work as a substitute teacher. She was offered the full-time job by lunchtime, and praised for following her passion for helping kids with special needs.
But Moffitt was placed with the most dangerous special-needs student at Rose Springs, something everyone – including the school principal, the front desk, and even district-level staff – knew.
And she says she was never trained in safety.
KUTV 2’s Chris Jones, in his Beyond the Books series, took a closer look at injuries to school staff on the job around the state, and found staggering numbers of workers’ comp claims involving interactions with kids, particularly those with special needs. It costs the three largest school districts over a million dollars in claims – dollars that could be saved, with fewer staff vacancies – with proper training.
Watch the story Thursday night at 10 p.m. on KUTV 2.