Teacher threats just not eas­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - CHRIS PIPPOS


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.

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