Disproportionate sexual crimes have prompted schools to train others to deal with harassment.
Preventing sexual crimes and violence has become part of everyday school life.
There is an hour of health information at the Lehtikuuse school in Vantaa. The boys of the ninth class are in the middle of the class ready to receive instructions.
“First of all, I would like you to touch the shoulder of a school friend who you think is a good classmate,” says Vice President Jonna Temonen, who teaches both physical activity and health information.
Young people run in small groups.
- You want to touch your shoulder right now, Temonen asks.
One of the students responds slowly.
- It matters who the toucher is or if you feel bad, no matter who the touch is, Temonen refines.
According to the interviewev, anyone can be the cause of the discomfort.
Temonen leads the topic and says that no one can touch another without knowing what the limits are.
The lesson continues with other similar group exercises. Preventing sexual crimes and violence has become a part of the daily life of schools and lessons for sexual offenses against children and adolescents.
Recently, Oulu’s voices, cases of pedophilia and social media care have been cited in the media. The Grooming phenomenon refers to the sexual exploitation and preparation of a young person who starts on the Internet.
The state instructs schools to prevent sexual attraction and abuse
In February, the government issued a list of 51 points of prevention and fight against sexual crimes. Most of the tools require legal changes and will only take place during the next term of the government.
Nothing has yet progressed in concrete actions. For example, in February 1.6 million euros were allocated for online police recruitment, but salaries have not yet been paid. With this sum, virtually every police station would get two new cops online.
Preparations are still ongoing for police officers from the Police Council. According to the Police Board, the framework decision for the coming years will be completed shortly.
The same list of government goals mentions, among other things, an intensified action for schools to prevent attraction and sexual exploitation. However, guidelines or training for the teaching staff have not yet been implemented.
However, in schools, sexual crimes and violence have had to be addressed without the guidance of the government or city education agencies.
Like the Vantaa Lehtikuuse school, current affairs must be dealt with independently. Things get up in the lives of young people and the staff must be ready to respond to the needs of children and young people.
- A great effort is put to children and adolescents here in the school as adults, to whom these things could be said and intervened. There is also a lot of collaboration between home and school, says Vice Chancellor Temonen.
Young people consider the issue important
The unified school in Finnish in the Hakunila district has nearly a thousand students and classes from one to nine. The experiences of third-grade students in dealing with violence and sexual crimes vary. For the part, the amount is sufficient, some would need more.
- Very beautiful, not much. The time of health information and morning hours was discussed. Furthermore, the board of directors has examined how to prevent sexual violence, says Antti Salpakari, 15.
“There has been talk of the time of health information and the lessons someone has done for another Noora Al Kafnaweez, aged 16, commented.
- I think we should talk more, not enough talk. This is a topical and very serious problem. It would also be nice to talk about how things should work if they are. “There are many who do not dare speak to their parents about trying it,” says fifteen-year-old Lina Basheir.
- We talked to friends, says Bertina Oppong, 15.
The young people say that not much has been said about these matters with their parents or brothers. According to Ant, sometimes it is easier to talk to a grandmother, according to Bertina, with the brothers.
According to young people, it is good that things are also present in the media. Everyone should also know the dangers.
“The atmosphere must be open and safe”
Violence and sexual crimes are also present in the lessons, especially in health information, the subject is a large entity and is repeated in each class.
Emotional, mental and emotional abilities are treated in group lessons. These lessons also raise various topical issues, such as those in the media. Sexual crimes have emerged, for example, because of violent rape cases in Oulu.
- In all the teachings, the starting point is that each teacher is his. The atmosphere must be open and secure so that students can learn, ask and question things. This is a topic among others, says Temonen.
However, he admits that getting to know the students helps to tackle even the most difficult topics.
- It was very effective to ask the students themselves what rules should be and why they should be followed. That’s where the same things come from us adults too. It was really effective, says Temonen.
The principal and the vice-rector of the school assist the teachers in their work.
- It is very important that no teacher feel alone with difficult things. In the work community we help each other and, if it is not enough, we ask for professional help. For example, the school police is heavily involved in these problems, says Temonen.
According to Temonen, the use of social media by young people has increased and is also reflected in schools. Students are advised to use Finnish safely.