Some children are naturally violent

Violent children are victims themselves

Harder sentences for children are needed, says the ÖVP police spokesman Karl Mahrer. For those children and young people who hurt their teachers. How often this has happened so far, however, is not known. Only this much is known: 258 violent crimes in schools in Vienna were reported in the last school year. From this it is not possible to determine who is hurting whom, nor who is reporting whom.

Of the dozen teachers DER STANDARD has spoken to in the past few weeks, only two spoke of violence directed against them. Neither of them thought of reporting the child for a second. Why also? That would only stigmatize it, block its future and put obstacles in the way of the already difficult job search. What preoccupies the teachers is rather the violence between the children - regardless of whether it is verbal or physical.

Don't criminalize the weakest

Child and youth attorney Ercan Nik Nafs is right when he says there is no point in criminalizing the weakest in society. Instead, care must be taken to ensure that children do not grow up in a world in which violence is part of everyday life.

It starts with teaching them how to use media responsibly from an early age and ends with separating children from their parents when violence is part of their upbringing at home. Because the number of child endangerment reports in Vienna is increasing. In 2017 there were almost 15,000 and thus a multiple of the 258 violent crimes reported in schools. Not only traumatic escape experiences or a lack of language skills, but also domestic violence contribute to the tendency of children to become aggressive.

Taking action against it must be the focus of politics, not reports or punishments. Because anyone who experiences violence at home is more likely to carry it on - to school and everywhere else. (Gabriele Scherndl, 23.11.2018)