Pushing and shoving, slaps to the face, punches, kicks, and threats with a knife – these are just some of the expressions of violence encountered by Israeli teachers in the last school year.
The findings of a new survey show that student violence against teachers is rampant in Israel's schools, with more than half of respondents indicating they were subjected to some kind of violence.
The poll showed that 56% of teachers have complained of verbal violence directed at them by students. Roughly 50% of the teachers said they feel helpless in the face of their students. Meanwhile, 30% of respondents said they have seen physical violence directed at other teachers at their school, while 38% of educators reported vandalism directed at teachers.
Overall, about 60% of the teachers were personally targeted by verbal violence, physical violence, or vandalism, the survey found.
Another disturbing figure in the survey showed that 31% of teachers said they are scared to file a complaint with the police, principal, or Education Ministry in cases of student violence.
"We demand to see tougher punishments against students who direct violence at teachers," Teachers' Union Chairman Ran Erez said in response to the survey's findings.