Update 2 | Parents brawl at Pembroke secondary school as MUT appeals for more security

The Malta Union of Teachers has appealed for greater security in schools after an altercation between parents left two educators hurt at the state secondary school in Pembroke

MUT said that is in contact with the respective authorities and will continue to look into the issue at the school to assist members accordingly
MUT said that is in contact with the respective authorities and will continue to look into the issue at the school to assist members accordingly

Updated at 4.38pm with UPE statement

Parents ended up in a brawl on Monday at the Pembroke secondary school as the Malta Union of Teachers appealed for greater security in schools.

Sources have told MaltaToday that a fight between students ended up involving parents. Two assistant heads were injured as a result of the brawl.

“The MUT is yet again condemning the violent incident that occurred today at a school in Pembroke with two educators getting hurt in the altercation. The union has been saying the same things over and over again and unfortunately, only instances like this prove the union right,” the MUT said.

The union said it is in contact with the respective authorities and will continue to follow the issue and assist members accordingly. It also requested the authorities give the full support to all staff at this school.

This incident comes on the back of a survey conducted by MUT in early January, which revealed that 87% of teachers had in the last two years suffered aggressive behaviour. The survey found that 23% of respondents had been victims of aggressive behaviour on a daily basis, while another 23% claimed a weekly frequency of aggressive behaviour was being experienced.

In response to MUT’s previous calls for security officers to be stationed at all Maltese schools, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo warned that heightened school security was not the way forward. He said that schools cannot run the risk of turning into high-security prisons.

READ ALSO: Heightened school security not the way forward, Education minister says

Education Ministry condemns school violence

The Education Ministry said that the incident started when two students got involved in a fight and the school administration called in the respective parents. The situation escalated when a parent and relatives of one of the students arrived at school.

The police were called in and the case is being investigated, the ministry said.

"The ministry is closely following the case and offering support to educators who ended up involved in the incident... the ministry strongly deplores all school violence," the ministry said.

Government is giving priority to the introduction of stronger laws against violence perpetrated in schools and other places where children socialise.

The incident was also condemned by the Union of Professional Educators and held the ministry responsible "for the lack of foresight in such circumstances".

The UPE said the ministry had failed multiple times in ensuring the safety of its workers despite various pleas for greater security at schools. "UPE expects that the police will investigate today’s incident and bring those responsible to justice," the union said.

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