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Saxony's Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs concerned about increasing violence at schools

Christian Piwarz (CDU, right), Minister of Culture of Saxony, speaks at a cabinet press conference / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa
Christian Piwarz (CDU, right), Minister of Culture of Saxony, speaks at a cabinet press conference / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa

Minister of Education Piwarz expresses concern about the increase in acts of violence at schools in Saxony and emphasizes the need for a zero-tolerance strategy.

Saxony's Minister of Culture Christian Piwarz (CDU) has expressed his concern about the increasing incidents of violence in schools. However, compared to the total number of pupils, the number of cases is still low and schools in the state are a "safe place", the minister said on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in violent crimes, especially after the coronavirus period. There is "assault" not only between pupils, but also towards teachers - this also applies to parents towards teachers. Authorities are less accepted than would be necessary and desirable for good cooperation in schools.

"We have to take action with the full force of the rule of law," said Piwarz. Schools are required to report such incidents and press charges. "This consequence is necessary." However, schools are never detached from what happens in society. Authorities are also less important within society today. Piwarz cited attacks on paramedics as an example. "This makes it all the more important that we ensure that schools remain safe places, for example through good prevention work." In any case, there is a zero-tolerance strategy.

The State Office of Criminal Investigation recently released figures on violent crimes such as threats, coercion and assaults at schools in Saxony. According to the figures, a total of 1976 cases of crimes at schools and on school playgrounds were registered in 2022. This is a sharp increase of 55.8 percent compared to the previous year. However, school operations were also restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, which explains the extent of the increase. In relation to 2019, the increase was only 3.8%. The list of crimes in 2022 included 141 dangerous and grievous bodily harm and 212 threats or coercion.

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