Ex­tra train­ing to com­bat school vi­o­lence

Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

Gil­more Col­lege had two lock­downs and 38 stu­dents were sus­pended for phys­i­cal ag­gres­sion dur­ing Term 1 this year, the Tele­graph can re­veal.

The sta­tis­tics come on the back of Bree Le­brun telling her story of be­ing as­saulted ear­lier this month, with her at­tacker sus­pended for a week as pun­ish­ment. The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion said sus­pend­ing stu­dents guilty of vi­o­lence was “a firm ap­proach” against bul­ly­ing.

In Term 1 of 2016, 44 stu­dents were sus­pended for vi­o­lence, with 42 sus­pended in the same pe­riod in 2017.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said the Gov­ern­ment was pre­par­ing ex­tra train­ing for teach­ers at schools across the State. “No- body at school should be sub­ject to that level of vi­o­lence, and that’s why we’ll in­vest $1.2 mil­lion in the Keep­ing Our Work­place Safe pro­gram,” she said.

“As part of the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Teach­ers’ Union, we have reached in-prin­ci­ple agree­ment on up­dat­ing the pro­gram, which will see train­ing rolled out to 1600 staff in pub­lic schools on how to counter vi­o­lence and re­spond quickly.

“Vi­o­lence has no place in our schools and we need to have a broader con­ver­sa­tion with parents and the com­mu­nity about what is rea­son­able be­hav­iour.”

Na­tional Cen­tre Against Bul­ly­ing se­nior ad­viser San­dra Craig said a holis­tic ap­proach was needed. “Ad­dress­ing bul­ly­ing must be­gin with pre­ven­tion — through the cre­ation of re­spect- ful, in­clu­sive and sup­port­ive school cul­tures, char­ac­terised by good re­la­tion­ships be­tween teach­ers, stu­dents, parents, lead­ers and sup­port staff,” she said.

eSafety Com­mis­sioner Julie In­man Grant said bul­ly­ing and cy­ber­bul­ly­ing had dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects on young peo­ple.

“Young peo­ple should know they are not alone, and that there is help avail­able. Don’t be afraid to speak to a par­ent or trusted adult about what’s go­ing on, on­line or off­line,” she said.

“Parents should also en­sure their chil­dren know they can come to them if some­thing goes wrong on­line, and that they will sup­port them.” Tell us what you think. Email ed­i­tor@soundtele­graph.com.au or send us a let­ter.

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