School violence could become a "national scandal" without urgent action, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said as it emerged nearly 14,000 incidents were reported in the last year.
Figures revealed by the party through freedom of information requests relate to incidents in primary and secondary schools across Scotland, however the real figure could be far higher as Glasgow - the largest local authority - and South Ayrshire did not provide the data.
The prevalence of reports has reached record highs compared with figures from the last five years, with 10,852 incidents recorded in 2021/22 in primary schools compared to 10,772 in 2018/19.
A similar pattern emerged within secondary schools, with 2,952 reports in 2021/22 compared to 2,728 in 2018/19.
In the current school year, 9,784 incidents have so far been recorded in primaries and 2,542 in secondaries.
Moray and Fife were the local authorities which recorded the highest level of primary school incidents, with 1,269 and 1,227 respectively in 2022/23 so far.
In secondary schools, Fife has seen 488 reports, followed by South Lanarkshire (242).
Willie Rennie, education spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said a particular incident caught on camera of a Fife pupil kicking another in the face will stay with him "probably forever".
He said: "It is deeply unsettling that similar instances are happening right across Scotland, particularly in primary schools.
"Since returning after months of lockdown, staff are almost universally reporting a sharp increase in behavioural problems among pupils."
Mr Rennie is urging Scottish Government ministers to get "straight to the root cause of violence" and take measures including introducing specialist teachers and psychologists across education.
He added: "Scotland's political and educational leadership is keeping tight-lipped about it all, but if the Scottish Government doesn't address this now, it could quickly escalate into a national scandal.
"We need a considered approach that gets straight to the root cause of the violence.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats would give teachers the resources, support and training to respond effectively and reduce violent incidents.
"We also need to invest far more in specialist provision, such as classroom assistants, education psychologists and specialist teachers."
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said: "Any form of violence in our schools is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
"As a former teacher, I fully understand the pressures faced by my ex-colleagues and vital work they do every day in our classrooms."
She said she recently attended the conferences of teaching unions the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association and NASUWT to discuss the problems in classrooms.
She added: "I am determined to ensure that teachers and all school staff are better supported to deal with behaviour in our schools, including reporting of incidents.
"We will continue to engage with trade unions, and later this year we will publish updated material showing the national picture in relation to this issue.
"The Scottish Government works closely with local authorities to tackle violence and bullying in schools, supported by wider investment of more than £2 million on violence prevention."
While local authorities have the statutory responsibility, she said ministers "very much recognise the need for partnership between central and local government on this issue".