Official denies increase of harassment cases in schools

Numbers of harassment cases have not increased over the last few years due to greater awareness among students

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Education authorities in Jeddah maintain that there has not been any substantial increase in harassment cases in schools.

Harassment complaints are referred to security authorities or the education directorate for action depending on the severity of the cases, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

Abdullah Al-Thaqafi, director of education in Jeddah, said: “The cases we receive are immediately referred to the investigation authorities. Extreme cases are referred to police. The administration is firm in dealing with unethical behavior in school premises.”

Due to greater awareness among students, he said, harassment cases have not increased over the last few years.

"Families have a big responsibility to shoulder and a huge role in monitoring the conduct of their wards. In addition, different media platforms should create awareness among students on bad conduct,” he said.

Al-Thaqafi said his administration recently launched an awareness campaign against harassment in collaboration with a specialized magazine. The administration worked on awareness programs to help guide male and female students.

He said the campaign was also for families and a hotline has been established to enable parents to report any harassment cases.

The education administration, he said, has intensified its awareness campaigns this year in all schools by conducting lectures and seminars.

“We have an agreement with specialized educational magazines to create awareness of the dangers and causes of harassment. The campaign included joint workshops conducted by educators and experts in child psychology and counseling. There were good results from the workshop."

Meanwhile, a source has stressed that it was illegal to publish video clips of children being harassed unless authorized by courts.

Perpetrators are punishable under cybercrime regulations, he said.

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