Out­rage at school of hard knocks

The Weekend Post - - News - LAU­REN MAR­TYN-JONES

QUEENS­LAND teach­ers are be­ing sub­jected to hor­rific abuse by vi­o­lent stu­dents and par­ents, in­clud­ing be­ing head­but­ted, bit­ten, kicked, spat on and at­tacked with weapons.

The de­tails of dozens of as­saults against teach­ers and school prin­ci­pals are laid bare in school work­place in­jury claims lodged last year, ob­tained by the Cairns Post un­der Right to In­for­ma­tion laws.

Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments, two teach­ers, one in the north coast re­gion and an­other in Bris­bane city, were sprayed in the face with class­room fire ex­tin­guish­ers.

A south­east state school teacher was struck by a stu­dent with an iron bar to the face, while an­other was cut af­ter be­ing stabbed by a stu­dent with a one-inch pin.

The doc­u­ments re­veal teach­ers and prin­ci­pals are be­ing sub­jected to death threats from stu­dents and par­ents, and stu­dents are us­ing chairs, books and even white­boards as weapons, hurl­ing them at school staff.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Kate Jones last night said she planned to ramp up the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s Re­spect our Staff ini­tia­tive, launch­ing a social me­dia cam­paign de­signed to en­cour­age the com­mu­nity to show more re­spect to teach­ers.

“I will not tol­er­ate phys­i­cal and ver­bal abuse of school staff,” she said.

“One claim at­trib­uted to an as­sault of a teacher is one too many.”

A for­mer Queens­land prin­ci­pal de­scribed an at­tack by an ex-stu­dent who came on to school grounds and pinned him against a wall, strik­ing his face and leav­ing him with a bloody jaw and nose.

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