Violence in Queensland’s state schools is spiralling alarmingly and over the past year the number of violent incidents involving weapons has jumped.
Each week about 100 students are being suspended.
James Weir reports.
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Knives, pencils and even dusters are being used as weapons in our state schools.
The number of students being suspended for violent acts has leapt 25 per cent this year/
The government says that’s because they’ve been cracking down.
Geoff Wilson, Qld Education Minister: “We are taking it so seriously that I have supported publicly principals acting firmly against inappropriate behaviour in schools.”
The Opposition says it’s not good enough with the government unsure of where the violence is happening.
Bruce Flegg, Qld Opposition Education Spokesman: “They don’t produce any figures centrally about weapons, they don’t know how many knives are confiscated or how many stabbings there have been.”
But the Education Minister says the answer is – give teachers more power.
He’s hoping to pass a new law doing just that, by the end of the year.
Geoff Wilson, Qld Education Minister: “We’re investing our resources in improving student performance and in supporting principals – making sure that high standards are actually met by students in our state schools.”
Dr Flegg says the Government “has its head in the sand” about the problem.
In the past year, it’s been reported that some students have been bashed with chairs and even had knives held to their throats. Doctor Flegg says giving students time off will do little to curb violence.
About a third of the sixty-thousand suspensions handed out in the past year were related to physical misconduct.
Exclusions have also increased in the past year – jumping from eighty-nine to one-hundred-and-eight.
James Weir, QUT News.