In Mykolaiv city, a criminal investigation is being carried out against principle of the school #44 Valentyna Pliukhina, accused of inflicting light bodily injury on a fifth grade pupil.

"The police has started investigation into the incident happened between the teacher and the pupil. The case has been registered in the Single Registry of pretrial investigations as intentional infliction of light bodily injuries," head of the juvenile criminal investigation of Korabelnyi district police department Serhiy Mardasov informed.

The mother of the 11-year-old schoolgirl reported to the police that the principle and teacher of the Ukrainian language hit her daughter on the face with a book. The incident happened during a class. According to accusations, the teacher threw the book at the pupil intentionally, and the girl has a bruise and a scratch on her face.

In turn, the principle says it was an accident. The girl was allegedly disrupting the class, and for this the teacher came to her and tried to make her read a book, but the book fell out of teacher's hands and hit the girl. The incident is under official investigation. The principle has been given a reprimand and warning. She has already apologized to the pupil and parents, but the latter insist on dismissal of the teacher.

ForUm has asked opinions of MPs and experts to learn about who is to blame and how to protect our children from violence at school:

Oksana Bryk , psychologist, professor of the faculty of social sciences and social technologies of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy:

- I would say this is a problem of society, and this problem consists of several components. Firstly, children's energies must be realized somewhere. And I speak about sport sections or activity clubs, we have certain problems with nowadays.  If children do not have a place to discharge their energy it may affect not only physical, but also psychological health, as well as turn into aggression.

Second point is the schools themselves. The level of respect for teachers and the quality of schooling decreases. The profession of teacher has lost its prestige. Teachers not only teach, but also educate, but without respect for teachers, the education process becomes very complicated. Moreover, the organization of the teaching process has worsened as well. And this is the fault of all parties involved into the process, including school executives, regional education departments and even Education Ministry. 

And finally, the third part of the problem is parents. Education within the family defines personalities of children, but there are families where children are ignored. And it happens not only in unfortunate families. Sometimes moms and dads are too busy fighting for their place in the sun and do not have time for their children.

Moreover, we should take into account that we are all humans and that emotional breakdowns can happen even in the happiest society. Instead of sinking into a faint and accusing each other, we must analyze the situation and make proper conclusions.

Oleksandr Zubchevski, secretary of the parliamentary committee on education and science, MP of Ukraine (Communist party):

- It is a global problem that the profession of a teacher is no longer popular and prestigious. In soviet times, teachers were like lighthouses, but now they have been humiliated and abused. A humiliated teacher cannot represent what we mean by the notion "teacher". For this reason, there is certain bitterness and spite on the part of both teachers and pupils.

Teachers cannot be blamed for this problem. Teachers are not respected, not protected and have to work for miserly payment, that is why aggression appears. It is a problem of a capitalist country, which lives in misery and does not care about education processes.

In my opinion, we must improve the image of this profession and raise salary for teachers. Just words and ads on billboards are not enough. We must do something, like implement education programs which teacher respect for older generation and proper behavior. Without serious changes within the very education system, improvement is impossible.

Yaroslav Sukhiy, member of the parliamentary committee on social policy:

- This is a personal problem of the troubled woman. Children are always children, while the principle should be examined for mental disorders.

Yevhen Kopatko, sociologist:

- The problems of everyday routine have come to schools. Though the problem of violence at school is not so urgent in Ukraine as in US, for example, the problem of respect for teachers is rather topical.

At all times teacher's labor stood high, but now the level of respect has fallen. This problem is many-sided and concerns the society, school and family. We cannot blame either children or teachers separately - the problem is complex. 

Mustafa Jemilyov, member of the parliamentary committee on human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations:

- This is certainly the question of observation of children's rights. There are laws in Ukraine forbidding similar measures. However, I believe this is the problem of personnel of education sphere and education of very children. I don't think the incident should be considered at the level of the committee on human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations. We have adequate laws for this incident, and what should be done is to observe these laws.


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