Primary school class – illustration photo.
Prague – About 57 percent of primary and 63 percent of secondary schools have solved at least one case of bullying among pupils in the last three years. This is according to the Czech School Inspectorate (ČŠI) more than seven years ago, when the inspection school's experience with bullying for a special thematic reportshe found out for the last time. The most common form of bullying among pupils is humiliation, slander and similar manifestations of verbal bullying and cyberbullying, i.e. harming via the Internet. Teacher bullying is also more common in schools. This follows from the analysis of the ČSI, which was presented to journalists today by the central school inspector Tomáš Zatloukal.
“The topic is becoming more and more widespread and it is necessary to start seriously dealing with it, which the Ministry of Education and the ČSI are doing. We are dealing with the issue systematically,” said the Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš (STAN).
According to Zatloukal, the number of bullying cases handled by elementary schools increased by ten percentage points to 57 percent. In secondary schools, the increase in cases compared to the survey from 2015/2016 is lower, amounting to roughly less than three percentage points. However, the inspectors point out that the reason behind the higher share of schools is not only the increase in the number of bullying cases, but also the greater ability of schools to identify and deal with aggressive behavior. They also pointed out that schoolchildren who attend schools in regions with greater socio-economic difficulties encounter bullying more often. According to the findings of elementary school inspectors, the highest number of cases per 1,000 pupils are registered in the Ústí and Moravian-Silesian regions.
In the last three years, 21 percent of elementary schools and 24 percent of secondary schools have experienced cyberbullying, that is, bullying on the Internet. The most common form of cyberbullying in schools is humiliating and gossiping online and posting humiliating photos or videos. Pupils and students told the inspectors in the questionnaire that they also encounter identity theft on social networks or cyberstalking.
According to the inspectors, the reasons why students are bullied online are similar to regular bullying. These are the victim's personality characteristics, social disadvantage or other physical differences. Compared to classic forms of bullying, bad relationships are more often reflected in online bullying, and in high school students, sexual issues and romantic relationships are also reflected.
Bullying by teachers, which usually takes the form of verbal bullying or passive aggression towards the teacher, was dealt with by seven percent of elementary schools in the last three years, according to the ČSI. Previously, the inspection noted this only in school units. In secondary schools, the number of cases of bullying by teachers has not increased, it remains at seven percent of schools.
Experts call the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying essential. The ČSI appreciated that cyberbullying prevention is dealt with in almost all schools, and in most schools there is a school prevention methodology. However, according to the ČSI, the survey shows that schoolchildren encounter cyberbullying prevention more often at elementary schools, although more cases occur among high school students. The inspectors also pointed out that most methodologists feel that they have little time to work. The methodical work, which is often done by teachers, includes, among other things, individual work with pupils, work with the class team and administration. Balaš told ČTK today that the solution is partial relief for methodologists from other duties and a financial reward. He did not provide more detailed information.
ČŠI based its analysis on the answers of 7,744 seventh- to ninth-grade students from 710 primary schools and 4,048 secondary school students from 248 secondary schools. The respondents were also prevention methodologists in schools. 3,337 methodologists in primary schools and 1,009 in secondary schools took part in the survey.