Teachers strike over school violence
15 March 2005, BRUSSELS – Teachers at a Brussels secondary school went on strike on Tuesday over classroom violence.
15 March 2005
BRUSSELS – Teachers at a Brussels secondary school went on strike on Tuesday over classroom violence.
Socialist education Minister Marie Arena sent two cabinet members to talk to staff at Athenee Royal Brussels 2 the day of the strike.
Arena is also studying the problem of aggressive students at the school.
The strike on Tuesday was called by the united union front to press for extra staff to help teachers tackle discipline.
"Teachers’ security is no longer guaranteed," argued teacher and union leader Julien Maquestiau. "We are asking for one extra person to work in coordination."
The unionists complain that threats, insults and intimidation of teachers have become a daily occurrence at the school, which is in a poor area and has to teach many pupils who have been expelled from other schools.
Out of 500 pupils, 308 were new to the school this year, meaning teachers don’t know the children very well.
"It’s impossible to put in place teaching projects for each pupil in these conditions," said Maquestiau.
In the latest violent episode at the school a teacher was hit on the back of her head and, although the incident happened in front of many witnesses, no one has reported who attacked her.
At the start of the month, Arena wrote to staff, saying she was looking into possible solutions. Among other problems, she cited the issue of poor management.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news