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Government abandoning teachers to classroom bullies - Crowe

19 January, 2007


Speaking after the publication of research by the Teacher's Union of Ireland showing that one in five post primary teachers is subjected to intimidation and threatening behaviour every week, Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD expressed his alarm at the gravity of the problem and accused the Government of abandoning teachers to classroom bullies.

The Dublin South West TD said: "With an ever increasing curriculum and mounting administrative bureaucracy teachers' jobs are stressful enough without the unacceptable added pressure of being subjected to threats and intimidation on a weekly basis. Indiscipline from problem pupils affects the ability of teachers to teach and of students to learn. On top of this is the added burden for teachers in that one in 13 reported unacceptable verbal abuse by parents.

"While Minister for Education Mary Hanafin pledged €8 million this year for the National Behaviour Support Service, this will only cover a mere 50 schools. It is absolutely inadequate and is tantamount to abandoning teachers to classroom bullies. The disruptive minority in any classroom should not be able to hold classrooms hostage. Our teachers need to be protected, and disruptive students dealt with in a way that does not seek to criminalise them, but addresses the problems causing their anti-social behaviour."

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