Lessons in surrender at Jihadi State Primary
ONE statistic that should send a shiver down your spine is that almost all the young jihadists who have been radicalised in Australia have been educated at government schools, not religious schools.
Our politically correct, feminised public school system now creates a vacuum of values and certainty that is failing teachers and students alike. It is fertile ground for propagandists, whether Islamists taking over Arabic language Koranic scripture classes in schools or the cultural relativism of the ABC’s “Behind the News” education program which is screened in class.
This is why we should heed the warnings of courageous Mrs A, a former teacher of Punchbowl Public School, who says that Muslim students as young as 10 are showing signs of early radicalisation which is being ignored by authorities and creating a ticking time bomb for the future.
Until she was hounded out of the predominantly Muslim school in Sydney’s southwest two years ago, Mrs A was forced to stand by helplessly as students brought ISIS-style flags to school, made threatening “beheading” gestures to her, wrote abusive graffiti about her family, bailed her up to chant the Koran in Arabic in her face, and demanded she remove the cross around her neck.
She claims her complaints were not taken seriously by the principal or the department, and that the school’s absurdly ineffective disciplinary procedures disempowered teachers.
“There was physical violence, abuse of teachers and abuse of each other,” she said. “I’m talking kids bashing each other with closed fists … and it was getting worse.”
Tensions escalated in 2014 when ISIS was rampaging across Syria and Iraq.
“It was Muslim on Christian, and Muslim on Muslim because some are Sunni and some are Shia. You had cousins fighting each other because their families were fighting.
“There were also some really good Muslim kids that were very respectful (and) just wanted to come to school and learn.”
But those good students, too, were victims, because little learning was possible amid the chaos, as can be seen from stagnant, subpar NAPLAN scores. Mrs A thinks she was targeted because of the cross she wore around her neck. “Students didn’t like it. (They would say) ‘Miss, your cross is offensive. Take it off. Why are you wearing a cross for?’”
The 46-year-old blonde mother-of-two, who grew up in Bankstown, and taught in the area for a decade, said she became “so jittery” before class she was “taking deep breaths and wondering what will today hold for me.
“I was a nervous wreck … It wasn’t just the fact of what the kids were doing, it was (school leaders) second-guessing the teachers,” she said.
She also claims at least three teachers took stress leave and received counselling.
“These kids were abusing the crap out of us,” she said.
Mrs A made public her complaints anonymously in the Daily Telegraph in March and last week revealed her face on Mark Latham’s Outsiders Facebook show.
She has since produced documents to back up her claims, including more than 200 incident reports logged in the “Wellbeing” section of the school’s “Sentral” computer database in 2014.
They tell the story of a group of troubled boys, aged between 10 and 12, big for their age, abusing teachers, fighting and threatening each other with scissors, kicking sand in girls’ faces, calling girls “dog”, and banned from the canteen for being ”constantly rude (and trying) to steal food from the counter”.
The reports also tell a story of absent fathers, and disconnected mothers busy with large families.
While bad behaviour was learned at home, Mrs A says the school “reinforced” it by stripping classroom teachers of authority with a disciplinary system called “Working it out”.
This operated as a lunchtime kangaroo court in which students and teachers were sent slips of paper from the office with an appointed time to turn up and put their case.
Executive teachers would sit as mediators hearing both sides and then tell teacher and student to “work it out”.
Instead of meting out immediate punishments for bad behaviour, teachers had to engage in this drawn out charade of “restorative justice”.
Mrs A said teachers felt they were being punished and “the kids loved it. They were laughing at us. Our kids had worked out it was giving them the power”.
In the end, teachers turned their backs on playground fights, unable to intervene and knowing it was pointless to follow up. “Kids’ behaviour was getting worse. It was escalating,” she said.
Casual teachers would come to the school and leave after a day. But with an oversupply of 40,000 teachers in NSW unable to secure a permanent job, Mrs A says colleagues were frightened to make waves.
“If you complained you got no reference. You have to toe the school line,” she said.
The picture she paints is of anxious, under-parented boys latching on to a dimly understood Islam as a symbol of rebellion and power. Add progressive, laissez faire teaching methods which don’t suit boys, and you have the perfect storm.
It is a problem that threatens to disenfranchise a generation of children and create future national security issues, unless education authorities act now. POSTSCRIPT: Mrs A’s ordeal occurred during the reign of the politically correct former Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.
But yesterday, the new minister, Rob Stokes, stepped in to order “the Department to con- tact the teacher, known as Mrs A, to organise a reinvestigation of the reported matters in 2014 and to offer an opportunity for me to speak to her personally about her concerns.”
“As Minister for Education I am concerned about any attack on our hardworking teachers,” he said.
Punchbowl Primary School. Picture: Kristi Miller