01 Feb 2018

Violence against students is widespread

A group of Hungarian teachers launched the "Violence Free Schools" movement after it came to light that two of their colleagues beat students.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Violence against students is widespread - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

Punishment in school is a phenomenon most Europeans nowadays only see in historical dramas. The times when parents and teachers both thought a slap on the face could do no harm are long gone... aren’t they? Well, not everywhere.

Recently there were two high-profile cases involving Hungarian teachers physically abusing kids. Many people were shocked after learning that such brutal practices still existed. The fact that some of their fellow teachers tried to cover up the situation rather than denouncing it raises important questions about the state of the education system and the quality of teacher training.

The founders of the "Violence Free Schools” movement praised the press: if journalists had not discovered the story, the perpetrators would have successfully swept the issue under the carpet. Could there be a #metoo in education?

violence, education, media, scandal

Details from the story:

  • A primary school in Hetes, a Hungarian village, made headlines after two abuse cases came to light.
  • A teacher got a suspended prison sentence (18 months) and was banned from teaching for 1,5 years because he regularly beat students.
  • In January, the school principal was fired because of a violent incident involving a pupil. It was later discovered that it was not the first time he beat a child.
  • The teachers who launched the "Violence Free Schools" movement told Nepszava that they have been speaking up for years against a colleague who had been beating students but no one listened to them until the press made the story public..
  • Comments on social media indicated that many people were sympathetic with the teachers and claimed that many children were "unmanageable".
  • According to the teachers, the Hetes situation is not an isolated case: violence against students is a country-wide phenomenon but school principals are reluctant to come forward because they want to avoid scandals.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy