A survey by the Malta Union of Teachers showed that a teacher in every four had experienced a daily form of aggression in schools……mostly by students or their parents.
Speaking to TVM, the union’s President Marco Bonnici said that if these aggression cases continue, the union will not think twice to issue directives to its members.
The survey, carried out before the Christmas holidays, showed that in the past two years more than 87% of educators in all schools said they experienced some form of verbal or physical aggression at work. 23% of educators said that they experienced daily aggressive behaviour by students or their parents. In the survey, in which 183 educatorsd participated, it emerged that 40% did not report the cases for fear or because that their complaints will be met with deaf ears.
At a press conference, the MUT President warned that the union will not think twice to issue directives to its members, adding that it is unacceptable that one in every four teachers experience daily aggressive behaviour at schools, in the form of threats, insults and foul language by students or their parents.
Mr Bonnici said “you cannot go to work and experience this, day-in day-out. This will lead to a burn-out and finally the profession goes; that is a concrete action will be needed and we are saying zero tolerance and this is not acceptable”.
He added that MUT cannot tolerate bad behaviour, not even from persons who have a form of intellectual disability. An experiment carried out in a particular government school, he said, where there is a security officer at the school’s entrance appears to have given the results, and appealed to the Government to extend this model to the rest of schools.
“This should be extended as soon as possible. It seems there are allocated funds and should be allocated to the other schools”, Mr Bonnici sand.
In a bid to assist its members, MUT launched two new services: an emergency number for educators to inform MUT in aggression cases and therapists’ service to provide psychological assistance to those who experience aggression.