Authors: Joanna Węgrzynowska, Agnieszka Milczarek

Dear Teacher

Perhaps you have the impression that the level of violence and aggression among  
  pupils at your school is gradually increasing. And you find this hard to accept. You are not alone in this experience, however. Many teachers and tutors complain about the spreading violence phenomenon.

These impressions are authenticated by research done for the Ministry of National Education in Polish schools ("Aggression at Schools - the Range of Occurrences", 1997). The report provides evidence that the global rate of violence is continuously growing. Police statistics on juvenile delinquency are also alarming. In 1997 the police arrested approx. 56 thousand juvenile delinquents, twice as much as 10 years earlier. By 1999 the number had doubled again.

Research performed by the "Stand by the Child" Association in several schools in Warsaw show that about 85% of pupils have seen or experienced child or teenage violence at their schools, 35% have been (at least once) the victim of violence and of them 1/4 have experienced violence seve3ral times a week and 1/3 of them have never told anyone about it.

Perhaps you have observed a victim of violence in your class and can't bear seeing other  
  pupils bullying him or her. Or perhaps you are struggling in vain with an aggressive pupil.

You may feel helpless. Violence among pupils often causes helplessness,  
  sadness or anger among adults. It's not easy to keep cool in the face of such aggression and even more difficult to find ways of counteracting it.

Any of these reasons is good enough to start acting and look for help. Reading up on the area is a good source of knowledge, as is checking how other schools manage the problem. But above all, you should enter a course or a workshop, both of which offer practical skills for solving the problem.

If there is a problem of child violence at your school it is necessary to know:  
  • what is violence and what are its forms?
  • what is the meaning of the 'victim' role?
  • what is the meaning of the 'violence perpetrator' role?
  • how to help the child-victim?
  • how to stop the perpetrators?
The guide we have prepared will help you to answer these questions.

The problem of aggression and violence is one of the most difficult to solve at school. If it occurs amongst your pupils you should start working on it immediately.

Silence gives consent.

No school should stay unconcerned about violence!
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