Portland fourth-grade teacher Nichole Watson of Rosa Parks Elementary School told teachers and supporters gathered Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Salem that her students deserve "my undivided attention."

Portland fourth-grade teacher Nichole Watson of Rosa Parks Elementary School told teachers and supporters gathered Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Salem that her students deserve “my undivided attention.”

Courtesy of Rachel Alexander/Oregon Capital Bureau

Salem teacher Jamie Keene went to urgent care early this year after one of her fourth-grade students caused her to pull a muscle in her back.

With 33 students in her class at Schirle Elementary, Keene said one regularly hits her, pulls her hair and twists her arms when he gets overstimulated in class. He’d benefit from more individual attention and a smaller class, she said.

“It’s not because he means to do it. It’s because he’s not getting what he needs,” she said.

Keene was among thousands of Oregon teachers and educators who rallied Monday, Feb. 18, at the Capitol in Salem on Presidents Day, urging increased school funding to cut class sizes and hire more staff like nurses, librarians and classroom aides to better meet student needs.

Read the whole story at Pamplin Media.