A science classroom at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in Harlem sits empty in July 2020.

'I'm hanging by a thread'

Updated 10:42 AM ET, Fri December 17, 2021

(CNN)One schoolteacher says she's been badly injured twice by students. Another says she's so drained at the end of the day she doesn't have the energy to leave her couch.

A third has already made the mental calculation that in the event of a school shooting, she'll stay with her special needs students instead of trying to flee to safety.
The deadly shooting last month at a high school in Oxford, Michigan, is yet another reminder of the many stresses facing America's educators, who are still struggling with the overwhelming challenges of teaching in a pandemic. Another surge in coronavirus infections — and the looming specter of a return to virtual or hybrid learning — is only adding to teachers' anxiety.
A vague and viral TikTok trend warning of nationwide school violence on Friday — which authorities have dismissed as non-credible — has nevertheless prompted widespread school closures, stretched law enforcement resources and put families on edge ahead of a critical holiday travel season.