The Argentine education minister Esteban Bullrich proposed a law on April 20 that would add a 25% higher penalty on attacks on teachers, with the objective to raise the status and level of respect towards teachers in Argentina, according to BBC.
If the law were adopted by Argentina’s congress, it would apply to both parents and students and would include verbal abuse, threats, and physical violence. The prison sentence and fines would be increased by 25% than if the same offense had been committed against any other citizen.
Bullrich developed this plan in order to support Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri’s “education revolution.” Argentina’s education system has performed poorly in international tests and has had a long history of strikes and unrest. Low morale and disaffection among teachers make it difficult for them to support education reform and thus this plan aims to not only make teachers feel more valued but also to gain their support in campaigning for further reform.
As Macri is pushing for education reforms, Bullrich has given out his personal phone number for “questions, comments, and complaints,” in an effort to directly relate to and be available to teachers. Whether or not the law passes, Bullrich continues to work to make teachers feel safe and appreciated, receiving hundreds of phone calls each day.