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23 August 2016

Violence against teachers deplorable: Department

Schools are places for learning not arenas for violence by a handful of troubled students, the head of education in the Goldfields said today.

The comments by Goldfields Regional Executive Director Ken Perris followed an incident yesterday in which a Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School student allegedly assaulted a teacher in the classroom.

Mr Perris said no teacher should be subjected to such violence.

“The teacher is being well supported, has sought medical advice and made a statement to police,” Mr Perris said.

“However, our teachers should not have to come to work and face these situations.

“It is no surprise to anyone in town that there are some issues in the community which then impact on the school.

“As a community, we have to send a message that this sort of violence against school staff is totally unacceptable and swift action will be taken to address it.”

The student involved is currently on suspension for 10 days and further sanctions are being considered.

Mr Perris said that he had spoken to the Director General, Sharyn O'Neill today about suspensions and she had backed the school to take a hard line on bad behaviour by students.

“We have got a situation at the moment where a handful of students are behaving completely inappropriately and endeavouring to drag down efforts by staff who are working diligently to address matters at the school,” he said.

In Semester 1 this year, 152 students received suspensions from Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School.

Mr Perris said the Department was working closely with police on issues of anti-social behaviour and violence.

“Youth crime intervention officers are at the school twice every day building relationships with students and working with staff,” he said.

“We’ve had excellent support from police in a variety of ways over the course of this year.

“The school is also working closely with our Goldfields Engagement Centre which supports troubled students, our School Psychology Service and agencies in town.”

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