Cases of harassment towards teachers increased by 23% last year

A teacher teaches the students of a school in Aluche, in Madrid.

A teacher teaches the students of a school in Aluche, in Madrid.

The number of cases of violence and harassment towards teachers increased by about 23% in the 2020-2021 academic year due to the return to presence, according to the latest report from the Ombudsman service of the National Association of Teaching Professionals (ANPE).

This union recorded a total of 1,960 cases throughout the Spanish territory, 366 more than during the 2019-2020 academic year, the most outstanding being those related to the coexistence between teachers and students and between teachers and parents.

According to the data in the report, there was a slight increase in threats from students to teachers, going from 12% of the actions to 13%. There has also been an increase in teaching problems, from 21% in the 2019-2020 academic year to 23% in the current report. Likewise, there have been more disrespects, according to the ANPE Professor’s Ombudsman, going from 22% to 23% in 2020-2021.

Regarding the problem of harassment of the student body to the teacher, there has also been a slight increase, from 11% to 12% of the actions, while cyberbullying stabilizes with 11%. The cases of attacks by students to teachers remain at 5%.

Parental bullying increases

This service launched by this union in 2005 also records cases of harassment and violence towards teachers by families. In that case, the report indicates that there is a increase in 4 of the 7 indicators or variables collected in the 2020-21 academic year, such as: harassment, complaints, disrespect and cyberbullying.

Disrespect for teachers went from 27% to 29%; bullying by parents increased from 29% to 30%; complaints rose from 17% to 20%; and cyberbullying from 5% to 9%. Regarding the indicator of pressure to raise grades, there has been a stabilization of 8%, as in the cases of assaults, which remain at 2%.

Regarding the evolution of the health of teachers, the report reveals that in 77% of the cases attended, the teachers had inappropriate levels of anxiety for the task to be performed, 11% showed depressive symptoms and 10% were off work.

Of the set of actions of the Teacher’s Ombudsman, the majority (44%) took place in Primary and Secondary (38%). Only 6% of the teachers who attended this service came from Early Childhood Education and 8% from Vocational Training.

Legal advice

Regarding the evolution of services provided by the Teacher’s Ombudsman, ANPE highlights that there are some differences in the actions that have taken place this course with respect to the previous course due to the recovery of presence in the classrooms. Thus, the interventions that have been most in demand are professional counseling (93% of cases) and work and psychological support (80%).

Legal advice accounts for 26% of the actions, although the teachers who come to trial represent only 0.5% of the total interventions attended in the service.

Since 2005, a total of 40,445 teachers have been assisted by this service of immediate and free attention for teachers who are victims of situations of conflict and violence in the classrooms, a figure that “is still a meager number in relation to real cases” According to ANPE, which ensures that the teachers who contact this union are mainly from public education.

For all these reasons, ANPE reiterates the need to develop a Law of Authority of Teachers at the state level, real measures that dignify the teaching work and favor an adequate climate of coexistence; the establishment of prevention measures and action protocols in cases of harassment; and the preparation of a Strategic Plan for the Improvement of School Coexistence in Educational Centers, led and coordinated by the Ministry of Education and FP, based on the Education Sector Board.


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