Minister rejects reports on school safety
8 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has rejected demands to force schools to publicly report violent incidents in a bid to combat worsening safety.
8 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has rejected demands to force schools to publicly report violent incidents in a bid to combat worsening safety.
Van der Hoeven said schools are already obliged to keep an eye on bullying. She also said there is a reporting office for sexual intimidation and a reporting bureau of racism is in the works. But the Christian Democrat CDA minister said schools should have a safety plan.
The minister was responding to calls from the chief of the Education Inspectorate, Kete Kervezee, who demanded on Sunday that schools be obliged to report on safety. She said such a report was necessary due to the rising amount of violence.
Kervezee said in the television programme Buitenhof that if all schools were forced to draw up a safety and threat report it would be easier for problems to be made public and thus discussed. The Dutch Parliament supports the proposal.
In times past, violent incidents generally happened every month, but incidents are now occurring on a weekly basis. Incidents vary from verbal abuse to thefts to physical threats, news service NOS reported.
Parents can also be part of the problem. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht about half of the schools have abusive parents and parents have threatened to take matters into their own hands at 6 percent of the schools.
Teachers do not always report violent incidents, often because they are embarrassed. This means the school management is not made aware of the problem, Kervezee said.
The one-year anniversary of the death of school teacher Hans van Wieren was observed last month. He was shot and killed at the Terra College in The Hague by a then 16-year-old student. Van Wieren was the first teacher killed by a student in the Netherlands.
Teen killer Murat D. was sentenced to five years jail and TBS psychiatric treatment, but is appealing the ruling in the Supreme Court.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news