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Ministry to release 35 million to fight bullying at schools

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Prague, April 3 (CTK) – The Czech regions will receive 35 million crowns this year in support of their fight with bullying at schools and the School Inspection will also focus on this problem, Education Minister Katerina Valachova (Social Democrats, CSSD) told Prima TV on Sunday.

The CSSD demands that inspectors focus on the real situation of relations at school and not only on formal requirements.

“The inspection must change its approach, so far it has focused on a formal fulfilment of the written prevention plans,” Valachova said in the Duel TV debate.

She said she would like to intensify communication between schools and the bodies of social and legal protection of children.

She will meets Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (CSSD) to discuss this issue in the week starting on April 11.

After the case of a Prague secondary school teacher being bullied by students was published, a number of teachers turned to Valachova complaining about the bad situation at schools, such as insufficient support from the school management.

In reaction to this case, the ministry took a number of measures. It, for instance, established an e-mail address to which school teachers and directors as well as parents can write to point out problems.

The allocated 35 million crows will go to cooperation of school prevention methodology experts with their regional counterparts.

Valachova also plans legislative changes to strengthen the status of teachers. She does not want them to enjoy the position of a public officer or a person in authority, which the interior and justice ministries have repeatedly refused, but she would like to give them the status of “protected persons.”

She intends to submit the respective bill in a few months.

The Education Ministry has also worked out procedures to enable schools to expel an aggressor more quickly than in six weeks in standard administrative proceedings.

School ombudsman Eduard Zeman will also exclusively focus on bullying at schools this year.

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