Violence in elementary schools has decreased in recent years, while violence in high schools has stabilized, according to a report the National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education released on Tuesday.
The report, “Monitoring data for the level of violence in the school system,” refers to the 2012/13 school year and compares it to the 2010/11 and 2008/09 school years.
The older the age group, the fewer violent incidents reported, with schools in the Arab sector reporting a higher rate of violent incidents than in the Jewish sector.
In the 2012/13 school year, 11 percent of fourth- to sixth-graders reported falling victim to a severe violent incident, such as beatings, threats and extortion, in the past month, compared to 19% in 2008/09 and 14% in 2010/11.
In comparison, in the 10th to 11th grades, 6% reported a severe violent attack, compared to 8% in 2008/09 and 7% in 2010/11.
With regards to verbal violence, such as gossip and shunning, 24% of fourth- to sixth-graders reported experiencing this violent phenomenon, compared to 28% in 2010/11 and 38% in 2008/09.
Among seventh- to ninth-graders, 20% reported experiencing verbal violence, compared to 22% in 2010/11 and 26% in 2008/09. In the 10th to 11th grades, 15% of students reported this, compared to 17% in 2010/11 and 19% in 2008/09.
Digital violence, a topic that has received growing attention in recent years, stabilized across nearly all age groups. Among fourth- to sixth-graders, there was a slight decrease from 10% in 2008/09 to 9% in 2010/11 and 8% in 2012/13 reporting such incidents.
Despite a minor decrease in reported cases of digital violence in 2010/11 among seventh- to ninth-graders and 10th- to 11th-graders, the rates remained the same between 2008/09 and 2012/13 – 10% and 8%, respectively.
Sexual violence, though in decline, remained relatively high among the seven- to ninth-grade and the 10thto 11th-grade age group, with around one in six pupils reporting sexual violence incidences.
In Arabic-speaking schools there was an increase in reports of sexual violence among seventh- and ninth-graders.
The report addressed the students’ sense of safety in schools. There was a slight increase across all age groups in this regard – 80% among fourth- to sixth-graders, 81% among seventh- to ninth-graders, and 86% among students in the 10th to 11th grades.
The data was collected from 24,243 pupils in fourth through 12th grades from 474 schools in the state secular, state religious and state Arab school systems, a total of 9,210 pupils from elementary schools, 8,170 pupils from middle schools, and 6,863 students from high schools.
The findings reflected the answers to questionnaires on violence, focusing on a series of phenomena and risk behaviors in schools such as severe violence, digital communication violence, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, staff violence, and the students’ sense of safety in school.