Education Ministry probes school bullying

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Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou is investigating the bullying of a 13-year-old at a Limassol gymnasium after a video capturing the incident went viral on social media.

The video, taken by a student, shows a teenage boy pulling another boy and placing him in a headlock taking shots at his head, while their classmates looked on.

Admitting there are incidents of bullying in Cyprus’ schools, Prodromou conceded there is worse violence.

“There are also incidents of violent behaviour.

“They are dealt with on the spot, depending on their nature, immediately in the appropriate way, just like other incidents that occurred in the previous school year,” he told reporters.

The minister said the authority has been working on preventing these incidents, noting the ministry had run a training session for teachers on bullying and prevention last year.

He said the training would continue into the new year.

Talking to SigmaLive over the incident, the boy’s mother reported that this is the second incident of bullying against her 13-year-old child she has reported.

She said her child was ambushed and shoved while another boy held him by the neck and punched him in the face.

In comments to Sigma TV, House Education Committee chair MP Pavlos Mylonas condemned the bullying incident, calling it “unacceptable”.

He said the incident revives memories of the bullying that led to the death of a teenager in the village of Troulli.

In November, a Larnaca district court handed an 18-month jail term, suspended for three years, to three men found guilty of causing the death of a 16-year-old boy in 2019 after they had bullied him into consuming large quantities of alcohol.

The three men, now aged 20 from Oroklini, and two 19-year-olds from Larnaca and Livadia, were found guilty of causing Panayiotis Stefani’s death through negligence.

The men were prosecuted after evidence emerged; that they had coerced Stefani into consuming large quantities of alcohol at a party in Troulli, Larnaca.

As a result, the teenager died of alcohol poisoning.