Gov’t study finds spike in violence in Arab schools
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Gov’t study finds spike in violence in Arab schools

One in ten Israeli schoolchildren say they were involved in a violent incident in school in the past year

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Schoolchildren waiting to cross a street. (Liron Almog/Flash90)
Illustrative: Schoolchildren waiting to cross a street. (Liron Almog/Flash90)

Violence in Arab Israeli schools has skyrocketed, a new Education Ministry survey suggests.

According to the study, which asked 226,477 fifth- to tenth-graders about their school environment, 11 percent of students throughout the education system reported being personally involved in a violent altercation in the past year.

Yet while Hebrew-speaking schools saw a 30% drop in reports of violence since 2009, Arabic-speaking schools showed an 84% increase in the same period, the ministry found.

Among Arab students in grades five and six, 45% said they had witnessed violence in their schools, up from 38% last year. Among Hebrew speakers, the figure was 20%.

Students were less likely to report violent incidents as they grew older, the survey found, though it did not indicate if this was due to lowered rates of violent incidents among older students or a lower tendency to report violence.

An overwhelming majority of students had an overall positive view of their school, with 77% of elementary school students saying they were mostly happy during class hours.

Schools also saw an increase in integration of online learning in their studies, with 34% of students reporting using the Internet for schoolwork in 2009, and 49% in 2013.

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