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20 June, 2024
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Parliament set to battle bullying in schools

Escalating violence and delinquency prompt urgent discussions on tackling school bullying, with the Ministry of Education presenting strategies in the spotlight.

Ioanna Kyriakou

The focus of today's Parliament Committee on Education session is the pervasive issue of school bullying, coupled with the Ministry of Education's strategies to address this escalating problem, which coincides with a surge in violence and delinquency within school premises.

Notably, the most recent bullying incident involved a 13-year-old student who ended up hospitalized with a broken shoulder blade. His classmates had lifted him into the air and thrown him to the ground. This incident, which occurred at Paphos Technical School in October, brought heightened attention to the severity of the issue.

In another alarming case, a student at the same school threw a chair at a teacher, resulting in the teacher being hospitalized with a head injury. Subsequently, the teachers' association decided to expel the responsible student and five others involved in the incident, which led to serious injuries for two students.

Earlier in the school year, a disturbing fight erupted among female students at a high school in the capital. The students engaged in physical violence, with their classmates recording the incident on their mobile phones and laughing, demonstrating a concerning lack of intervention.

Another distressing case involved two 15-year-olds, their faces concealed with hoods, attacking and beating a 13-year-old. The confrontation began within the school premises, leading to a planned ambush outside the school, resulting in physical harm and lacerations on the victim's body and face.

The surge in violent incidents within schools has prompted significant concern from the Ministry of Education and relevant authorities. The Education Committee will delve into the matter, exploring the Ministry's implemented measures and gathering perspectives from educators and stakeholders involved.

Representatives from various entities, including the Ministry of Education, Directorate of Secondary General Education, Directorate of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education, Directorate of Primary Education, and the Educational Psychology Service, have been invited to the session. Additionally, attendees will include representatives from the National Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence, the Direct Intervention Team of the Ministry, the Cyprus Police, the Commissioner for the Protection of Children's Rights, the University of Cyprus, educational trade unions, parents, and students.

Cyprus  |  education  |  bullying

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