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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 13:38 GMT
Polish suicide sparks school plan
By Adam Easton
BBC News, Warsaw

Roman Giertych
Roman Giertych plans to create separate schools for violent pupils
The Polish government is set to launch a "zero tolerance" programme against violence in schools.

Under the plan, special teams of police and prosecutors will visit schools to report on disciplinary problems.

Polish Education Minister Roman Giertych will launch the programme at a high school in Gdansk.

The decision follows a case in which a 14-year-old girl from the city committed suicide after being sexually humiliated by male classmates.

She was stripped and sexually molested whilst the teacher was absent.

It was reported that one pupil filmed the attack on a mobile phone.

The case shocked the country and sparked a debate about how to tackle increasing levels of violence in schools.

Violent acts

The government's answer is the "zero tolerance" policy.

Head teachers will be able to send aggressive pupils to do community work. Their parents may be fined.

Teachers who fail to report violent acts could face up to three years in prison.

The government is also considering banning mobile phones in schools.

School discipline is less strict now than during the communist era and most people agree that something must be done to curb the violence.

But the plan is controversial.

One newspaper editorial branded it "zero encouragement and maximum fear".

But the programme does not go far enough for the education minister.

He is planning to create separate schools for violent pupils to be run on military lines.




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