More teachers subjected to classroom violence, figures show

There has been a disturbing trend in Danish schools recently when it comes to attacks on teachers

A famous Pink Floyd song from ‘The Wall’ includes the lines “Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone.” New statistics from Denmark, however, indicate that perhaps this should now be changed to “Hey, kids, leave them teachers alone.”

Figures from the Danish national research centre for the working environment reveal that 19.3 percent of teachers were the subject of violence at the workplace in 2016.

That equates to one out of five teachers in the public school (folkeskole) system, reports Berlingske.

In comparison, the figure for 2012 was 13 percent.

Re-establishing authority
In the wake of these figures, the education minister, Marete Riisager is setting up a working group to devise an action plan to remedy the situation. The plan will aim to prevent violence and help schools handle the increasing number of conflicts that arise.

“I see an enormous need for teachers to establish a modern form of authority,” said Riisager.

More backing needed
One of the teachers in question is Heidi Reichertz. She was stabbed with a pencil by one of the pupils in her primary school class, and as a result, she has been off sick with depression and stress.

Reichertz feels she has not had enough backing from the school: “The heads of school said they’d like to help, but that they also had other things to do.”

Another survey in July showed a similar tendency, leading to the Danish working environment authority, Arbejdstilsynet, handing out a record number of warnings – 74 in fact – to schools because teachers had been subjected to violence.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.