School violence dropped markedly in 2010-2011

Findings based on questionnaires filled out by 24,625 pupils in grades 4 to 11 in the Jewish and Arab state school systems.

February 22, 2012 05:37
2 minute read.
Students in classroom

Students in classroom 311. (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


There was a significant decline in almost every category of violence in schools between the 2009/10 and 2010/11 academic years, the Education Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry based its statement on questionnaires filled out by 24,625 pupils in grades 4 to 11 in the Jewish and Arab state school systems over the past two years. The poll did not include students in haredi schools, special education facilities or the Arab schools of east Jerusalem.

The questionnaires focused on a number of types of violence and other threats facing students (including drug and alcohol use) to compile a multi-year frame of comparison. Examined were serious and moderate physical violence, social violence, sexual violence, violence by and against faculty, violence on school buses, and the use of weapons in schools, among others.

The greatest improvement was among elementary and junior high students, while among high school students the figures remained relatively stable over the test period.

In 2010/11, 14% of children in grades 4 through 6 witnessed or were involved in an act of serious violence, a decrease of 26% from a year earlier. During that same period, 8% of those in grades 7 through 9 reported seeing or being involved in such violence, a drop of 27%. The figure stayed the same, however, for 10th- to 11th-grade students, 8% of whom said they were involved in or witnessed such violence.

In addition, the proportion of 4th- to 6th-grade pupils who said they witnessed or were involved in an act of sexual violence dropped 29%, from 14% to 10%, and among 7th- to 9th-grade students it dropped from 20% to 16%, a 20% decrease. Among 10thto 11th-grade students, however, the number stayed more or less the same, with 16% reporting they were involved in such acts during the 2010/11 academic year, as opposed to 18% in a year earlier.

As for violence directed toward teachers, there was a 40% drop in this among 4th- to 6th-grade pupils (from 10% to 6%), a 29% drop among 7th- to 9thgrade students (from 14% to 10%) and a 19% drop among 10th- to 11th-grade students (from 16% to 13%).

There was also a significant reduction in the proportion of students who said they have consumed beer or hard liquor. The improvement was most stark among 4th- to 5th-graders, 9% of whom said they had drank hard liquor, a 36% decrease from the 14% the year before.

The Education Ministry credited the positive figures to a number of programs launched in recent years.

These include NIS 10 million budgeted in 2009 toward violence prevention in schools, the strengthening of penalties for students involved in violent acts, and the continued expansion of the City without Violence program across the country.

When presenting the numbers in Tel Aviv, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) said, “We know that Israel is a violent society, we see it on the streets, we see it on the news. The schools are not separate from this reality but we are investing a great deal in fighting this phenomenon.”

Sa’ar said that while there is reason to be pleased with the figures released on Tuesday, “there is no cause for celebration, the path is still long.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night