The number of reported violent acts by children at public elementary schools reached a record high of 1,890 in the 2004 academic year through March, an education ministry survey showed Thursday.

“The outcome indicates more children are quick to become violent because they have difficulties expressing their feelings or lack patience,” an official at the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry figured.

The previous record was marked in the 2003 academic year, at 1,600.

The survey also indicated violent acts at junior high and high schools declined in the reporting year.

The latest survey showed attacks against teachers at elementary schools rose 32.8 percent from the previous year to 336, while those against other children came to 992, compared with 854 in the previous year.

Violent acts by elementary school students outside of school rose 18.6 percent to 210, according to the survey.

As for school violence at junior high and high schools, the number of cases at junior highs came to 23,110, compared with 24,463 in the previous year, while those at high schools stood at 5,022, down from 5,215.

The total number of violent acts at public elementary, junior high and high schools declined 4.0 percent to 30,022, while off-campus violence fell 2.8 percent to 4,000.

The number of bullying cases fell 7.2 percent to 21,671, of which first graders at junior high schools accounted for some 30 percent, the survey said.

The ministry also conducted its first survey on high school students who refuse to go to school. It showed that 67,500, or 1.8 percent of all high school students, did not attend school regularly in the reporting year.