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One in three German primary schools report violence against teachers

One in three German primary schools have reported violence against teachers, according to a recent comprehensive study, while half of all German schools have reported psychological violence against educators.

Published: May 3, 2018, 9:55 am

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    In the past five years, teachers at one in three primary schools or Grundschulen, in Germany have been physically assaulted, Germany’s Association of Education and Upbringing [Verband Bildung und Erziehung] (VBE) revealed during a press conference held on Wednesday.

    VBE announced the results of their survey of 1200 school administration officials from across the country on violence against teachers, German daily Tagesspiegel reported

    “The facts available to us once again prove that the ministries of education are simply wrong in their assessment that violence against teachers is merely a matter of isolated cases,” VBE Federal Chairman Udo Beckmann pointed out.

    While physical violence against teachers is highest in primary schools – at 32 percent of all such schools, threats of violence against educators is not only present in elementary education.

    All types of schools, including primary and secondary institutions, are struggling with rising violence, as around 26 percent of school administrators reported cases of physical violence against teachers.

    Moreover, 48 percent – almost half of all school administrations – also reported incidents of “psychological violence” at their school over the past five years.

    Psychological-based violence is defined by the study as direct abuse, threats, insulted, bullying or harassment in the classroom.

    Bullying, defamation and harassment directed at teachers via the Internet, have been registered at roughly every fifth school, the alarming study revealed.

    The highest percentage of psychological violence was reported at secondary schools, Hauptschulen and Realschulen, where students are taught practical trades.

    At such institutions, 59 percent of headteachers reported threats against teachers in the classroom, and 36 percent reported harassment online.

    According to survey data, the acts of physical and mental violence against Germany’s teachers were primarily committed by students, but parents in some cases also acted as perpetrators of such violence.

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