Over Half of Czech Primary and Secondary Schools Deal With Cases of Bullying

The most frequent form of bullying among schoolchildren is humiliation, slandering and other forms of verbal and cyber bullying. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, March 14 (CTK) – Around 57% of elementary schools and 64% of secondary schools in the Czech Republic have dealt with at least one case of bullying among students over the past three years, based on analysis from the Czech School Inspectorate (CSI) that chief school inspector Tomas Zatloukal presented to the media today.

He said this was an increase from the last time the CSI conducted research into bullying seven years ago.

The most frequent form of bullying among schoolchildren is humiliation, slandering and other forms of verbal and cyber bullying, the analysis shows. The research also found that the bullying of teachers is more frequent now than before.

Education Minister Vladimir Balas (STAN) said the matter needed to be tackled seriously, and that the ministry and the inspectorate have been dealing with it systematically.

The analysis shows that the number of cases of bullying at elementary schools has increased by 10 percentage points to 57%. Compared to the school year of 2015/16, the increase in cases at secondary schools has been smaller, less than 3 p.p.

The inspectorate noted, however, that the increase in the number of reported cases may be partly due to greater capacity of the schools to detect and address the aggressive behaviour. It also pointed out that bullying was more frequent in schools in regions with social and economic difficulties.

Over the past three years, 21% of elementary schools and 24% of secondary schools have been dealing with cyberbullying. This most frequently includes humiliation and slandering online as well as publishing humiliating photographs and videos.

In the questionnaire, the students also reported facing identity theft on social media and cyberstalking.

The inspectors say that the reasons for bullying are similar in both the online space and the real world: the personal characteristics of the victims, their social disadvantages and physical differences. In the case of cyberbullying, bad relationships, sexual problems and intimate relationships are more frequently involved.

About 7% of elementary schools have been dealing with the bullying of teachers, mostly expressed through verbal attacks and passive aggression. In the past, this was only detected at a handful of schools. At secondary schools the proportion has not increased, and remains at 7%.

The CSI conducted the survey on a sample of 7,744 children between 12 and 15 from 710 elementary schools, and 4,048 students from 248 secondary schools. Prevention methodologists at schools were also among the respondents, including 3,337 from elementary schools and 1,009 from secondary schools.

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