Abusive behaviour towards teachers soars: RTL Nieuws

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The number of secondary school pupils who have been suspended or banned for behaving badly in the classroom is the highest for years, an investigation by RTL Nieuws has found.

The broadcaster approached 350 teachers who are members of the CNV teaching union to ask about their experiences, and 200 of them said they had been confronted with swearing, threats and had even been visited at home.

Schools inspectors confirmed the figures, which show teachers at trade schools (VMBO) most often have to deal with abusive behaviour. Some 410 pupils were suspended or told to leave during the last school year, compared to 301 before the pandemic. Some 50% of Dutch teenagers go to a VMBO school.

The number is lowest at pre-university VWO schools, where 69 children were either removed or suspended, almost double the pre-pandemic number. HAVO or pre-college schools also showed relatively low numbers.

In total, around one million Dutch teenagers are at school.

Teachers couldn’t explain why pupils are becoming more aggressive but many said society has become a tougher and more individualistic environment. They also mentioned the influence of street culture and poor parenting.

Parents, some teachers said, often condone their children’s behaviour and do little to correct their behaviour at home. Some even turn up at school to confront the teachers, who feel the school management fails to support them. Incidents are often kept quiet, they told RTL.

Caretaker education minister Mariëlle Paul said on social media that bad behaviour towards teachers is “completely unacceptable” and that parents should stop “making excuses” for their children.

She told RTL she wants to bring in new legislation to force schools to register incidents. They should also report incidents to police more often.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation