Health School of hard knocks

School of hard knocks

When it comes to bullying teachers, parents are in a class of their own, according to research from La Trobe University.

In a survey of teachers across Australian schools, La Trobe researchers found a staggering 80 per cent had experienced some form of bullying over the past 12 months.

Around 10 per cent reported being punched or slapped.

The research found that parents were almost as likely to cause problems as students.

While 71.4 per cent of teachers said they had been intimidated or harassed by students, 57.8 per cent had experienced at least one incident of “parent-led” bullying.

Swearing and yelling were the most common forms of abuse from students while verbal attacks, such as offensive or disparaging comments were most frequently reported from parents.

Eighty-three per cent had considered leaving the profession because of teacher bullying.

La Trobe researcher Dr Paulina Billett says the results will help develop strategies to address teacher bullying, such as a mandatory national code of conduct for students and parents.

“We already have funding to conduct further research, which will hopefully tell us why teacher targeted bullying and harassment is more of an issue in some schools than others,” Dr Billett says.

“With this knowledge we can then develop solutions that have a good chance of working.”

The voluntary online survey was open to all teachers employed in primary or secondary schools across Australia in the past two years.

If you or anyone you know needs help: Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636.

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