18 Dec 2018

Teacher receives support after attacking students

Several thousand teachers marched in Zagreb on December 15 to protest against widespread violence in Croatian schools. The action was provoked by a recent incident involving a physical conflict between a teacher and his students in Čakovec. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Teacher receives support after attacking students - NewsMavens
Franjo Dragičević. Youtube

Why this story matters:

Franjo Dragičević is a Croatian teacher who made headlines for getting into a physical fight with his students. His case triggered reactions from other teachers who had experienced similar situations of abuse from their students. 

In the following days, many media outlets portrayed Dragičević as a hero for standing up to his enemies -- the students. 

The perception of a teacher who attacked his students as a role model shows how bizarre Croatian reality can be. 

Even if he was abused, he shouldn't have attacked students. Even if he didn't have the support of the education system, he shouldn't have attacked students. 

And yet he did attack students -- a fact that should have outraged his colleagues more than it did.

Details from the story:

  • High school teacher Franjo Dragičević physically assaulted two of his students during a class in the technical school of Čakovec on December 4. He later told media he had enough of the abuse he had been experiencing. The two students, according to Dragičević, had been provoking him and other teachers ever since the beginning of the school year. He lost control when they threw a piece of chalk at him. 
  • Many teachers from around the country supported Dragičević on social media and shared their own stories of how they were abused by students and their parents. Some of them have used the #ijasamfranjo ('I am Franjo too') hashtag.  
  • Dragičević was not fired. He had received a "warning note" from his headteacher.
  • Teachers protesting in Zagreb on December 15 demanded changes to the penal code, improved education legislation, and clearer rules on penalizing students for misconduct. Dragičević was one of the key speakers at the protest. 
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