Violence spirals out of control in Norway schools

Violence spirals out of control in Norway schools

The surge in violence and threats in Norwegian schools is far greater than previously acknowledged.

WORLD APRIL 15. 2024 10:32

„Sometimes I feel more like a security guard than a teacher,” say teachers working in Norwegian primary and secondary schools, according to NRK, the country’s government-owned radio and television broadcasting company. The survey on teachers’ working environment, which focused on threats, harassment and violence in their daily work, was conducted by Resons Analyse.

The results show that

teachers’ experiences of violence, threats and harassment in primary and secondary schools have increased dramatically over the past six years.

Seven out of ten teachers, more than twice as many as in 2018, said they had experienced threats or harassment in the past year. The proportion of those who had experienced threats on multiple occasions has more than quadrupled.

Nearly one in two teachers in Norway have experienced physical violence and suffered an injury once or more over the past year.

Six years ago, this same rate was one in every four teachers nationwide.

We rarely see such clear trends,” said Idar Eidset, a fellow researcher at Respons Analyse.

The situation has deteriorated and the current trend is rather alarming. We can no longer accept this situation,

– Geir Rosvoll, the head of Norway’s Education Union, told NRK. Although the union has recently received several feedbacks from its members that the challenges are growing, he was surprised by these results.

Teachers who took part in the survey report new and frightening daily experiences in Norwegian schools, according to the Norwegian Document news site.

It’s a crisis! Students feel that there are no limits as to what they are allowed to do with each other, the school equipment or with the adults. Just in the last year there has been a major deterioration in students’ behavior in schools,

– many teachers said.

Many also complained that they do not receive enough assistance with their students. Fully, only three per cent of the teachers surveyed believe that their schools have a functional support system to help with students exhibiting violent, threatening or aggressive behavior. However, more than half the teachers said that there was no such support system in their school or did not know if there was one.

Interestingly, teachers who teach younger pupils and those working with lower-grade students have reported being exposed to assault and violence more frequently than before.

The survey also reveals that violence between pupils is also very widespread.

In the past year, 77 percent of teachers had to physically intervene in violent or dangerous situations between students.

The proportion of primary school teachers who consider their working environment to be very, or fairly dangerous has more than doubled, from 7 to 18 percent.

Education Minister Kari Nessa Nordtun has described the level of violence in schools as a serious problem. Ms. Nordtun has called for a crisis meeting for all those working in or around schools, arguing that she will leave no stones unturned in „putting an end” to the growing trend of violence in classrooms.



norway, school, violence