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Teacher killings bring profession's risks to light

This undated photo provided by Chandra Landsberry shows Sharon and Michael Landsberry. Police said Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, the student who wounded two classmates and killed Michael Landsberry and then himself on a Nevada middle school campus in Sparks, Nev., was 12 years old. Police also lauded the actions of Landsberry, a 45-year-old math teacher and former Marine, who they say tried to stop the rampage before he was fatally shot in the chest.  (AP Photo/Courtesy of Chandra Landsberry via The Reno Gazette-Journal)
This undated photo provided by Chandra Landsberry shows Sharon and Michael Landsberry. Police said Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, the student who wounded two classmates and killed Michael Landsberry and then himself on a Nevada middle school campus in Sparks, Nev., was 12 years old. Police also lauded the actions of Landsberry, a 45-year-old math teacher and former Marine, who they say tried to stop the rampage before he was fatally shot in the chest. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Chandra Landsberry via The Reno Gazette-Journal)
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Updated: 11/17/2013 9:54 am
By CAROLYN THOMPSON
The Associated Press

The recent killings of two teachers are uncomfortable reminders that education can be a risky profession.

In Nevada, middle school math teacher Michael Landsberry was shot on a basketball court by a 12-year-old, who then killed himself.

In Massachusetts, high school math teacher Colleen Ritzer was attacked inside a school bathroom. A 14-year-old is charged.Experts say the phenomenon of student-on-teacher violence is too often ignored.

Dr. Dorothy Espelage of the University of Illinois recently led a national task force on the issue. The task force found that little has been done to try to understand or prevent these attacks.

A task force survey from 2011 found that 80 percent of teachers reported being intimidated, harassed, assaulted or otherwise victimized at least once during the previous year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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