Teachers' perceptions of acceptable behavior towards students must change with the times - minister

  • 2024-03-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The perception of university teachers about acceptable behaviour towards students must change with the times, Culture Minister Agnese Logina (Progressives) said in an interview with TV3 on Friday, commenting on the current scandal about alleged harassment of students by lecturers at art and music universities.

The Minister said that the rector of the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) has given an explanation about the situation. It shows that the problems were not really addressed until public pressure was applied - while the alleged harassment was not discussed publicly, the academy's administration felt that the problem was a small one and could be solved internally, while Logina thinks that this position is not adequate and "if there is a problem, it must be solved".

Logina stressed that the understanding of what is acceptable or not differs between generations - what was once accepted by students is now no longer considered acceptable, and lecturers have to change with the times.

The politician noted that universities need to provide an emotionally safe environment for students, including a clear reporting system for harassment that actually works, updating codes of ethics to include nuances on sexual harassment, etc.

The Minister reiterated her call on all those who have experienced harassment to report it in order to fully tackle the problem together.

As reported, the Council for the Development of Higher Education Institutions will seek a solution to the alleged cases of sexual harassment at several higher education institutions.