'Some of us are too afraid to come in'
A teacher working in a school in a disadvantaged area of Dublin told how she has been headbutted in the chest and had a student throw a sharp object at her.
The teacher, who did not want to be identified, broke down in tears as she related her experiences of increasing violence in schools.
She said she had also experienced being pushed against the wall, having a bottle thrown at her and having the worst expletives shouted at her.
The young teacher said she grew up in a disadvantaged area herself and worked hard to achieve her dream of a job in teaching.
"Now I am very close to walking away from it," she said, wiping tears from her eyes, as she spoke to journalists outside the TUI conference in Kilkenny.
She said among her colleagues were "people literally afraid to come into work".
She added most pupils were good and wanted to learn, but in some cases were suffering constant disruption in class.
There were pupils who would come to her defence, but this was less likely to happen nowadays because of the fear that they would become targets themselves, she said.
She criticised schools' management for not doing enough.