One in three feels bullied at school

One in three Greek primary school pupils claims to have been the victim of violence and one in 10 admits to bullying a fellow pupil at school, according to the results of a study by the National Center for Social Research (EKKE) made public yesterday. EKKE’s study also showed that two in 10 schoolchildren claimed to have been the victim of sexual harassment at school. Commenting on the findings, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou remarked: «Greek schools must face challenges that did not exist in the past. School cannot replace the family but it is in a position to deal with issues related to the shaping of the child’s personality.» Giannakou said that 43 «counseling stations» for victims of school violence were being set up, stressing that the ministry’s aim was to establish one such unit in each of the country’s 55 prefectures. The study also showed that six in 10 teachers had noticed that newcomers, those with problems fitting in or who are «different» in any way are often the targets of violence. The same study also showed that more than three-quarters (77 percent) of schoolchildren claimed to have witnessed instances of violence in their schoolyard. But often children do not report what they see, according to EKKE President Yiannis Yfantopoulos. «In certain schools, there is a tendency to cover up instances of violence and hostility. I believe that, apart from the responsibility of the teachers, the family has a crucial role to play in countering this,» he said. Meanwhile, the results of another, pan-European study showed that two in 10 Greek adolescents feel that they are bullied or victimized at school. However the study, carried out by the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, showed that Greek adolescents were less likely to feel bullied than most of their European counterparts, with British secondary school children reporting the most claims of victimization. In most cases, bullied adolescents are of foreign backgrounds, poor or suffer from a chronic health problem.

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