An alarming rise in bullying incidents at schools across Greece has prompted Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis to  take action and introduce stringent measures.

Among others, in an interview to MEGA TV, Pierrakakis said a five-day suspension period from school for students found bullying classmates would be reinstated. Additionally, school laws concerning bullying incidents will be tightened and change of school will be simplified for those students found in violation, said Pierrakakis.

He went on to add that the ministry would also be setting up an online platform where bullying incidents could be reported by parents or students. The first step will be to address the incident at school, he said, adding that for severe cases special committees would be set up. At the same time, information gathered will be archived and assessed for future policies.

Parents were informed of the platform last week.

Pierrakakis admitted that bullying incidents were increasing in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. “Bullying at schools is seen throughout Europe and across the Western world. I would say the phenomenon is intensifying. For this reason the state must intervene,” he said.

Last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the government was drawing up a national strategic plan for the prevention of violence and delinquency at schools.