Violence in the school environment: The perspective of students with mental disorders

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The problem under investigation is violence experienced in schools by students with mental disorders during primary and secondary education. The article is based on an analysis of interviews conducted among 20 adults with mental disorders aged 23-53. It discusses the types of violent behaviours these people encountered in the school environment and focuses on those who committed this violence, namely peers and adults. The method applied was the qualitative in-depth interview with elements of biographical narrative. The basic findings are that regardless of the stage of education, there are students with mental disorders who are subjected to violence in the school environment. The research also shows that schools, and especially teachers, lack up to date knowledge on how to work in the regular classroom with children that have mental disorders. The conclusions are that schools need to keep pace with policy changes and teachers require support. Disability studies need to be introduced into the curriculum of teacher education.