Cyprus Mail

Around 2,000 sought help for bullying last year

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Over 2,000 Gymnasium and Lyceum students sought help for bullying during the year, according to Education Minister Costas Kadis annual general report for 2014.

Although comparative figures cannot be made as ‘bullying’ is a new section in the report, it illustrates the number of high school students seeking help for the phenomenon.

The ministry’s report has always had a section for ‘psychological violence’, which covers all forms, and according to the latest figures, from a total of 1,543 students across all educational sectors who sought help for psychological violence – a fall from last year’s 1,852 students – 76 per cent were in Gymnasium. In Gymnasiums, reports of psychological violence almost doubled from 678 in 2013 to 1,172 in 2014.

It is difficult to assess whether these figures indicate more problems in Gymnasiums or just a more open environment in which students seek help more easily the report said. In the same way, it said it was difficult to reach a conclusion as to whether the overall figures – which show a drop in the number of students seeking help – indicate less violence, or an environment in which students are reluctant to talk to their counsellors or teachers in school.

According to the report, some 48 students sought help for matters relating to sexual violence on school grounds and 29 that occurred outside school grounds last year.

With regards to physical violence, although overall figures fell from 904 students seeking help in 2013 to 650 in 2014. Of these, in 2013 some 333 were Gymnasium students who reached out to teachers and counsellors. This figure was 492 in 2014.

More students also received counselling for financial matters in 2014, almost 7,000, which was up slightly from 6,893 from all schools.

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