Teacher threats just not easing
ople would be amazed at the behaviour of the general public ... it’s a real social issue. MALCOLM ELLIOTT, TASMANIAN PRINCIPALS ASSOCIATION
THE Tasmanian Principals Association has voiced serious concerns about behaviour towards its members, as details emerge about an alleged assault on school grounds.
A male principal from a state school in Tasmania’s North-West took time off work after an alleged altercation in late March.
From that incident, a 42year-old woman has been charged with one count of common assault, Tasmania Police and the Education Department have confirmed.
Tasmanian Principals Association president Malcolm Elliott also confirmed the incident.
“I think it’s in the public interest to know about this but we don’t want to cause any more distress than has already happened,” he said.
Mr Elliott, speaking generally and not about the alleged altercation, said unfortunately nothing had changed since the release of a damning report in February showing offensive behaviour towards Tasmanian principals, including bullying and violence, both threatened and physical, had increased during the past six years.
He said he was concerned about a growing trend towards aggression from outsiders on public school grounds and on social media.
“People would be amazed at the behaviour of the general public at times,” Mr Elliott said. “It’s a real social issue. “It’s an issue we need to face up to as a society.
“Things really just have to change. There’s no hope of de-escalating it [once it starts].
“Some of this goes underreported, as well.”
Mr Elliott said principals had increasingly expressed concerns to the association about some parents being “not themselves” and potentially affected by drugs and/or alcohol on school grounds.
“There has been some anecdotal evidence of parents influenced by substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs, coming to school,” Mr Elliott said.
“That’s something that’s coming more into focus for us.”
The woman charged over the March incident was bailed to appear in the Burnie Magistrates Court on September 21.