A new report from public education officials in Oslo reveals that even elementary schools are now faced with unruly students as young as six who “beat, kick, bite and vandalize classrooms.” Incidents of violence and threats have increased greatly in recent years.
Part of the increase is linked to more teachers reporting more trouble in their classrooms. They often feel, however, that they lack support and means of dealing with clearly troubled children.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported on Tuesday that the annual number of incidents rose 63 percent from 2016 to 2017, with those classified as “extremely serious” rising from 167 in 2015 to 436 last year. Those described as “serious” tripled, from 425 in 2015 to 1,219 in 2017.
“What surprises us the most is that the youngest pupils account for the most incidents of violence and threats,” said Astrid Søgnen, director of Oslo’s education agency Utdanningsetaten, when the report was represented. Teachers complain they lack follow-up and help in how to deal with the problem.
Inga Marte Thorkildsen of the Socialist Left party, who’s the top politician in charge of education in Oslo, claimed officials were taking the problem (which also plagues intermediate and high schools) seriously. Meetings were scheduled this month to come up with ways to address both the trouble-makers and their victims.