Violence in schools – “For some students, knives are standard equipment!”


The Viennese teachers’ union Thomas Krebs finds clear words in the conversation about the situation in local schools: “It is important to put aside taboos, we must talk openly about the problems and find useful solutions that will help immediately.” A necessary measure: family immigration to Vienna must be stopped because there are already enough problems. For example, German is no longer spoken in many schools. And: “For some students, the knife is standard equipment.”

Hundreds of children have come to Viennese schools in recent months as part of family reunification. “We can no longer handle the situation, we must first gain some kind of control over the problems we already have in the schools,” Krebs said in the interview with One of the main problems that has existed for a long time: “Teachers are no longer understood by students.” German is no longer the lingua franca. This would multiply the problems.

“Children live in a gibberish”
In practice, we often see that children leave kindergarten and do not speak a word of German, Krebs explains the frightening development. “In some cases, German is no longer popular as a lingua franca simply because the non-German speaking community is so large that the language is simply not being spread among children.” The language deficit will then be dragged along forever. “That means that these children live in gibberish and in a community where different rules apply, some of which have nothing to do with Austrian reality. And that is extremely dangerous.”

“Criminal offenses at school must be punished”
Violence in schools is not just a problem in Vienna; figures from other states show that this is a national and apparently social development. “What worries me very much is the way the violence is taking place. For example, that a student feels the need to insult his teacher in the most vulgar way. Or that people do not hesitate to bring weapons to school. For some students, the knife is standard equipment, while others bring a wallet or cell phone. That may not happen.” We need to move from pure violence prevention to a situation in which help and solutions are truly available quickly and reliably in acute cases. “Criminal offenses at school must be punished again.”

Student welcomed as a hero after suspension
Currently you can work with suspensions: “This is actually purely a measure to counter danger as soon as it occurs and to calm the situation.” In some cases, suspensions are even counterproductive, Krebs explains. It often happens that the student returns and is celebrated as a hero. The union for compulsory school teachers is therefore calling for more extensive protection concepts for everyone who enters the school.

“Are not auxiliary police officers”
Children who come now are severely traumatized and have gone through experiences that children should not have to go through, Krebs says. They would therefore need special support, which teachers can hardly provide due to limited resources alone. “We are not auxiliary police officers or social workers.” There is an urgent need to provide support in a complex and professional way and to make it clear where the work of education ends and the work of others begins. Quite a few teachers are said to be throwing in the towel at the moment: “We are looking very critically at the autumn; We will certainly have far too few teachers and at the same time enormous problems in the schools we will have to deal with.”

Source: Krone


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