A video of school violence has shocked public opinion in Greece and sparked new calls for the tightening of legislation concerning violence between minors.
The video from an Athens high school shows a group of female students beating their classmate. The violent incident occurred recently at Peristeri, a suburb in west Athens.
Published by Proto Thema, it shows the horrific scenes as a 14-year-old student is on the ground and is attacked by at least three classmates aged 13, 14, and 16 in the schoolyard.
In the video, the three girls can be seen throwing the victim to the ground and beating her furiously, while she tries to defend herself. A dozen students of similar age are watching by and cheering without making any effort to stop the beating.
Βίντεο σοκ με τον ξυλοδαρμό της 13χρονης από συμμαθήτριες της στο Περιστέρι pic.twitter.com/yMZmlypx01
— flash.gr (@Flashgr_) November 21, 2023
The three attackers seen in the video were arrested at noon on Friday, while another person, who videotaped and shared the video on social media is being sought by the police.
School violence incident about a shirt
Proto Thema reports that the cause of the savage attack was an argument about clothes. “I know they fought over a shirt,” said a student who wanted to remain anonymous. “There have been other incidents, but not as fierce as this,” she added.
“Right now I fear for my child’s life too… since they got to this point they can’t do anything worse. We are talking about dangerous children here. For an insignificant reason…some students act as leaders in the school,” said the victim’s father.
“I took her to the hospital after she was beaten. She had a headache from the blows to the head, and some abrasions on her body. After we went to the police, she received threatening messages implying that they would finish her off,” added the father of the 14-year-old.
School violence and bullying are serious problems that can have a devastating impact on students’ lives. They can lead to physical and emotional harm, as well as academic problems and social isolation. In some cases, they can even lead to suicide.
On November 2, UNESCO marked the International Day Against School Violence and Bullying as global concern about students’ mental health and well-being continues to grow.
The strong links between mental health and violence in school are worrying: experiences such as violence, bullying and discrimination at school can contribute to poor mental health and affect learning, while feelings of safety are linked to better mental health and education outcomes.
We must end violence and promote good mental health in schools to ensure learners learn and thrive in safe and supportive spaces, UNESCO said.