Sexual abuse at schools rises, staff involved in one-third of cases
Sexual abuse reports at Dutch schools rose 30 percent in the 2014/15 academic year, with one-third of cases involving teachers and other staff members.
School inspectors received reports of 112 cases of sexual abuse at Dutch schools in the 2014/15 academic year, a sharp rise on the previous total of 86.
One-third of cases focus on a teacher or someone else in a position of responsibility at school, the inspectors said. Half of the cases concerned sexual assault or even rape. In addition, the inspectors received 254 reports of sexual intimidation in school – most of which involved social media.
Inspectors said the rise in reports of sexual assault is worrying and have urged schools to develop proper codes of conducts for teachers and pupils.
MPs have also urged junior education minister Sander Dekker to step in. ‘These figures are shocking,’ Labour MP Loes Ypma is quoted as saying. ‘As a parent, you should be sure your child is safe at school. Teachers have a position of responsibility and both on and offline abuse is unacceptable.’
‘Teaching staff who abuse children should always be dealt with severely,’ VVD parliamentarian Karin Straus is quoted as saying.
D66 MP Paul van Meenen, who is a former head teacher, said teaching staff who abuse pupils should be sacked on the spot. He also said that the certificates of good behaviour (VOG) which all teaching staff should have by law need to be renewed every few years.
In total, inspectors received 2,000 reports of physical, mental and sexual abuse at schools. This is down almost 200 on the previous academic year. There was also a slight increase in racial discrimination reports.