The Teachers Are Blowing Their Whistles!


The Queensland Education Department backs the bogans, not the classroom teachers.

If it's a toss-up between a dedicated teacher trying to maintain decent standards of behaviour and a disruptive and abusive bogan family, the Queensland Education Department will back the bogans every time.

Dennis in Mackay, Reader's Comment 98 of 104, Teacher entry scores targeted in bid to lift classroom standards, Tanya Chilcott, 16 October 2010.

Northern Beaches State High School, Townsville : 2018 - 2021.

Noel Gorringe worked as a teacher in both state and private schools for 18 years.

In April 2018 a special needs student at Northern Beaches State High School in Townsville was breaking pencils.

Mr Gorringe asked the student to stop breaking pencils.

The student repeatedly punched Mr Gorringe in the jaw.

Mr Gorringe tried to walk away, but the student followed him and hit him again.

The student then swung a stool at the teacher.

Staff then restrained the student but he broke free and punched Mr Gorringe again.

The student was suspended for three days.

In February 2019, within weeks of returning to the school from sick leave after this first assault, another student allegedly stabbed Mr Gorringe in the hand with a broken ruler.

That student was also suspended. He was later expelled after he allegedly punched another teacher.

Noel Gorringe said the assaults and lack of support from the school and Queensland Education Department left him feeling suicidal.

Mr Gorringe has made a $750,000 plus personal injury claim against the Queensland Department of Education.

Mr Gorringe claims in this lawsuit that the Northern Beaches State High School failed to provide a safe working environment and failed to take precautions to protect staff working with aggressive students.

Mr Gorringe told ABC News that teaching had been a large part of his life.

"For me I felt like a part of me died the day I resigned," Mr Gorringe said.

Mr Gorringe told ABC News that he had launched court action as it was the only avenue to force the Queensland Department of Education to address the growing issue of violence against teachers and a lack of support for staff after they have been assaulted.

"There is only so much abuse you can cop in the workplace," Mr Gorringe said.

"At the end of the day something needs to be done because of the systemic dysfunction.

... I cannot return to the classroom."

Teacher takes education department to court after being assaulted by students at Townsville School, Paula Doneman, crime editor, and Melanie Vujkovic, ABC News, 8 October 2021

229 Queensland teachers made WorkCover claims after being assaulted at work during 2017-2018.

The latest WorkCover data, obtained by The Courier-Mail, reveals that Queensland teachers and other school staff made 359 WorkCover claims related to assaults or exposure to violence between 1 July 2017 and 15 June 2018.

This was 55 more incidents than were reported during the previous financial year.

229 of these claims were made by Queensland teachers.

130 of the claims were made by other Queensland school staff.

Queensland Teachers Union deputy general secretary Kate Ruttiman said "We've had incidents where teachers have been punched by students, where students have tackled teachers to have access to their FOB keys that give them access to different areas. 

"We've also had incidents where students have thrown things hidden under desks."

Independent Education Union of Australia's Paul Giles said "Our union has had cases of stalking of teachers by students and parents. 

"We have recently had a member who was struck in the head by a student."

Queensland teacher : I believe the WorkCover figures for assaults on Queensland teachers create a false impression of the level of violence in Queensland schools.

A Queensland teacher emailed the editor on 5 July 2018 to comment on the WorkCover report that 229 student assaulted Queensland teachers during the 2017-2018 financial year.

The article above details what is literally the 'tip of the iceberg' with regard to student assaults on teachers in Queensland state schools.

WorkCover seems to deny the majority of assault claims - apart from the most serious.

It is my observation that many student assaults on Queensland teachers are not reported as teachers do not believe any action will be taken.

The real number of student assaults on teachers would be much greater than the 229 reported by WorkCover.

The Queensland Department of Education seems to actively 'gag' teachers from discussing the violence in their workplaces  via the 'Code of Conduct'.

And, while the Department may have prolific policies on 'Student Protection' , no Departmental Protection Policy exists for Queensland teachers.

Is there any wonder that Queensland teachers are leaving the 'profession' in droves?

Too many children are being raised to regard themselves as the centre of the universe.

Back in the day, teaching was mainly about imparting knowledge and values, with a smidgen of classroom management mixed in. 

These days, teachers have to deal with disrespectful, s-xualised, conniving and/or psychologically-challenged children, who've been raised to regard themselves as the centre of the universe, with little parental control. 

All this, without being permitted to discipline a child or remove it from the classroom to prevent it disrupting others. 

Throw abusive and unappreciative parents into the mix, plus the expectation that teachers assume the lion's share of responsibility for a child's development and I'm amazed that anyone wants to become a teacher. 

I'd have thought lion-taming might be easier.

Chris, Reader's Comment, Teaching is in trouble and we need to lure more young people into the profession, The Editor, the Courier-Mail, 4 March 2018

Young men graduate as teachers, find themselves working in a battle zone and look for alternative careers.

Contending with rude, disruptive and often intimidating students, who have no desire to learn, wears down all teachers, new or beginning. 

I know young men who have graduated in teaching, but will be seeking alternative careers. 

Schools should not be a battle zone that one has to hype yourself up to face.

Christine, Reader's Comment, Teaching is in trouble and we need to lure more young people into the profession, The Editor, the Courier-Mail, 4 March 2018

Children are bringing drugs and weapons into North Queensland schools.

Children as young as eight are bringing drugs and weapons to school in North Queensland.

Methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana and weapons such as knives have been found on students.

48 North Queensland students were reprimanded for substance abuse during 2012.

74 North Queensland students were reprimanded for substance abuse during 2016.

376 incidents of physical misconduct by North Queensland students were recorded in 2012.

397 incidents of physical misconduct by North Queensland students were recorded in 2016.

Sarina State High School : father does not agree with son's punishment for 'insulting and degrading' his female teacher.

Four students from Sarina State High School have been suspended for five days for allegedly 'insulting and degrading a teacher' during class.

One of the parents, Leon Saron, claims that the students were caught during class with photos of pigs on their iPad, making comments and jokes at the teacher's expense, likening her to the images.

Comments were then made by the students, calling the teacher "Miss Piggy" along with other "insulting" remarks.

The four students were 'externally suspended' for five days.

Mr Saron claims he received a call on the afternoon of Wednesday 9 August, to notify him that his Year 8 son had been involved in the incident.

Mr Saron said he asked the principal in what way his own son had been involved in the incident.

He learned that his son had laughed at the jokes, but had not been an instigator.

Mr Saron said two students had brought the photos up and made the comments.

Two students had laughed at the jokes.

All four students received the same punishment.

Mr Saron does not agree with his son's punishment.

"I agreed that of course he shouldn't have laughed, but surely he shouldn't receive a five-day suspension, the same punishment as the kids who had the photo and made the remark."

"I think what happened was wrong and should be addressed, but I don't think my son should have been suspended for that amount of time, maybe a detention but not that," he said.

There is a lot of stupidity passing for education in Queensland.

As a relieving teacher with many years of experience, I could fill many pages with the stupidity that passes for education in Queensland.

Consider : 

1) "Students have rights."

Students have more rights than teachers.

Teachers cannot give detentions as they are "an infringement of students' rights".

2) "Teachers cannot touch students as that is assault."

So if a student is punching another student you can only tell him it is not nice.

(I once had to deal with a student with a baseball bat trying to hit other students. I broke the law. He complained to the principal who then had to interview the boy, me, two class witnesses to the event, inform the boy's mother and write a report to the department.)

3) "Friendship groupings enhance learning."

So you let friends sit together in little groups where they spend their time interacting with each other rather than paying attention to the teacher.

The concept was discredited by an extensive British report written in the early 70s, which noted that the traditional classroom organization produced the best results - yet friendship groupings are still common in many classrooms.

That standards are declining catastrophically is scarcely surprising. 

Roger, Reader's Comment, Teacher unions misleading us on a 'fair' education, Nick Cater, The Australian, 2 May 2017

Dozens of Queensland teachers have been attacked by students and their parents.

Queensland teachers and school principals were subjected to dozens of horrific assaults by violent students and parents during 2016.

The assaults are detailed in school workplace injury claims lodged during 2016 -

A teacher working in Far North Queensland was attacked by a student, pushed against a wall, their throat was held in a strangle hold and then they were punched multiple times on their head and body.

Another Far North Queensland teacher had their car stolen and their house broken into.

A teacher working in the North Coast region was sprayed in the face with a classroom fire extinguisher.

Another 14-year-old male student in the North Coast region bit through his teacher's jumper, puncturing their abdomen.

A Central Queensland teacher was spat on in the face by a parent in the school grounds.

Another Central Queensland student threatened their teacher with a knife.

A Darling Downs student brought a weapon to school and made death threats.

A teacher from a South East Queensland school was struck by a student with an iron bar to the left side of their face.

Another South-East Queensland teacher was hit with a hard rock by a student.

Another teacher (seems to also be South-East Queensland) was stabbed by a student with a one-inch dress pin and suffered lacerations.

A Metropolitan Brisbane student threw an object and sprayed a fire extinguisher at their teacher's face.

Another Metropolitan Brisbane student threw a whiteboard at their teacher.

Queensland students are using items like chairs, books and even whiteboards as weapons, hurling them at school staff.

"What we are seeing here is the tip of the iceberg," said Queensland Teacher's Union secretary Kevin Bates.

"I've seen very serious injuries requiring months of rehabilitation and multiple surgeries," he said.

One former Queensland principal has described the frightening time he was attacked by an ex-student who came onto the school grounds and pinned him against a wall, striking his face and leaving him with a bloody jaw and nose.

"He pushed me in the chest and I didn't react, he swung a punch and hit me in the mouth, and there was some blood, he tried to headbut me, and there was a bit more blood on nose and forehead," he said.

"He was bigger than me and I couldn't get around him, there was nowhere behind for me to go and he had me," he said.

Queensland teachers left with serious injuries after assaults at work.

Almost 1000 Queensland teachers and principals lodged claims for workplace assaults during the five years to 2016.

One Queensland teacher spent 519 days recovering from an incident in March 2014 which left them with serious injuries.

An assault in November 2012 left a Queensland teacher off work for 400 days.

A colleague spent 318 days recovering from an assault two months earlier.

Teacher bashings by 'angry parents' and students on the rise, Stefanie Balogh, Sean Parnell, The Australian, 31 January 2017

Ravenshoe State School : teacher assaulted by "extremely aggressive" male student.

Ms R  worked as a learning support teacher at Ravenshoe State School from February 2016 to November 2016.

On November 9 Ms R was on playground duty when she was suddenly hit by an "extremely aggressive" male student.

"I thought he was going to punch me right in the face. I was terrified," she said.

"He'd previously been verbally abusive to me in the library," she said.

The student had been given a two-day suspension.

Ms R thinks the boy may have hit her in revenge.

Ms R says she is appalled at the lack of support shown to her by the school during her whole ordeal.

"It feels like I've been completely left on my own ," she said.

Ms R says that she had to travel all the way to Cairns to get (the police) to take her statement.

"I was constantly following up and have been given rubbish excuses at every turn."

Ms R says that her complaint was not up on the (seems to be Queensland Police) system until November 18 - the day that the violent student graduated and was no longer a student.

Officer in charge at the Ravenshoe police station, John McPhail said the police were dealing with a lot of investigations, so it can take time for one to 'get up on the system'.

"But she can rest assured that it's being handled."

A spokesperson for the Department of Education told The Tablelander that the student at the centre of the incident had been dealt with appropriately in line with the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan.

Ms R is now on leave.

She has moved to Brisbane. 

She says she was advised to leave Ravenshoe for her own safety.

Robina Cosser says : this was probably very good advice.

There would have been a real risk of being attacked in the streets of Ravenshoe.

Teacher disgusted by Ravenshoe incident, Natasha Emeck, P. 3, The Tablelander, 6 December 2016

Experienced teacher : Parents of badly behaved students support their child over the school because it is easier than dealing with their child's behaviour.

As a teacher with over thirty-five years in the game, I've seen major changes in the behaviour of children and parents.

I've taught in both the private system and the government system for over twenty years.

A generation ago, if I needed to ring a parent to discuss a child's behaviour, most patents wanted to help, would thank me for the call and would work with the school to promote a positive outcome.

Now, a significant number of times, the parents are antagonistic, say "My child wouldn't do that!" and that the problem is all the fault of the school.

Parents don't accept responsibility any more.

They take the line of least resistance and support their child over the school.

Some abdicate all responsibility and turn off their mobiles so they can't be contacted.

I've worked in some schools (as a member of the executive) where children who had been suspended for violence were sent to school by their parents anyway.


I suspended one child for vandalising a toilet block, smashing toilets, etc.

I had several witnesses and the child had written a statement, outlining what they had done.

The next day the child's father came up to the school, created a scene, accused me of verballing their child and wanted the names of all of the witnesses.


I put another child on detention for punching another child.

The next day I had the father poking me in the chest in front of a class.


A percentage of children now raise themselves with minimal parental input.

There's no role modelling.

Violence is seen as acceptable.


I started teaching during the time of corporal punishment.

It makes things worse.

Respect is all about developing relationships.

Thankfully the vast majority of students make the job worthwhile and rewarding.


Eric Oldtimer, Reader's Comment, GeorgeJul, Reader's Comment,  1500 students suspended or expelled for assaulting Queensland teachers, Amy Remeikis, The Brisbane Times, 26 July 2016

Queensland teachers have always had to deal with violent students.

My mother taught in the state system for over 20 years.

During that time things went from most students behaving themselves, with a few bad students in the class, to a point in time where if a student started attacking you (which by all accounts happened relatively often, you had to call for help or send  "a responsible student" to the office and then wait for help.

Oh, and don't try to protect yourself.

By all accounts the "behaviour contracts" signed by said students were never quite followed and expulsion seemed to be a big NO-NO, irrespective of what the student had done.

Needless to say, my mother retired.

Funnily enough, I was only talking with someone in my office on Monday whose partner had to leave his last teaching job due to threats from students.

But who are we kidding?

Back in the 80s, one of my teachers used to teach near Ipswich at her previous school and would regale us with stories about having desks thrown at her.

Another friend in the late 90s had a knife pulled on her by a student.

Another was attacked by a primary school student with a plastic knife as the real knives had been taken off the students.

But these incidents used to be isolated.

Nowadays attacks on teachers are far more common.

Being positive alone isn't the answer.


GeorgeJul, Reader's Comment,  1500 students suspended or expelled for assaulting Queensland teachers, Amy Remeikis, The Brisbane Times, 26 July 2016

Caboolture school : teacher disarms 12-year-old after knife attack.

At about 9.15am on the morning of Monday 30 November 2015 a teacher managed break up a fight between two 12-year-old Caboolture schoolgirls and to disarm one of the girls.

One girl had allegedly pulled a knife on the other 12-year old girl.

The two girls began to fight.

The victim was then slashed on the neck and hands.

Police have not named the Caboolture school.



Queensland schoolgirl on attempted murder charge, AAP,, 1 December 2015

Caboolture schoolgirl, 12, charged with attempted murder, Kim Stephens, Brisbane Times, 1 December 2015

Coombabah State High School : teachers break up fight, 13-year-old student stabbed in the chest.

At about 8.5am on Tuesday 10 November 2015, Coombabah State High School teachers broke up a fight between two Coombabah SHS girls.

A 13-year-old Coombabah SHS student had also intervened in the fight between the two girls.

He was stabbed in the chest.

He had sustained a 2cm stab wound dangerously close to his heart.

Police were called and the boy was sent to the school nurse for treatment.

His parents were called to the school, they took him to a doctor, and the doctor sent him to Gold Coast University Hospital where he was assessed by a surgical team and cleared of serious injuries.

"Any deeper and it could have punctured a lung and any further along and it could have hit his heart," the boy's sister said.


The fight had allegedly been planned on Facebook.

A 13-year-old girl had allegedly brought the knife to school.

Teenage boy lucky to be alive after being stabbed in the chest at Coombabah High, Jessica Elder, Gold Coast Bulletin, 12 November 2015

Pacific Pines State High School : a dozen teachers allegedly struggle to break up a wild brawl in the school carpark.

At about 3.00pm on Tuesday 20 October 2015 a wild brawl took place between rival student groups in the carpark of Pacific Pines State High School.

15-20 people were allegedly fighting.

Hundreds of students were watching. 

A dozen teachers allegedly tried to break up the fight.

One teacher was injured.  

A man allegedly threatened people with a torque wrench.

Police were called to the school and they managed to break up the fight.

One boy became violent and police officers had to lock him against their car to handcuff him before driving him home to his parents.


Out of Bounds, Students arrested after wild brawl, Shaya Laughlin, Jeremy Pierce, The Courier-Mail, 21 October 2015

Shailer Park State High School  : student assaulted with stick.

A 15-year-old Shailer Park State High School student was assaulted with a stick in the first week of September 2015.

Two students have been suspended.

Suspension for assault, P.15, The Courier-Mail, 9 September 2015

Pimlico State High School : school staff respond to student with large hunting knife.

Staff at Pimlico State High School stopped a teenage boy from stabbing another student on Tuesday 11 August 2015.

It is alleged that the 14-year old boy took a large hunting knife to school and threatened to stab another student.

School staff immediately ushered other students into class.

The two students were then separated.


Qld teen takes hunting knife to school, AAP, 12 August 2015

Rockhampton High School teacher 'paidback' at home by student.

A Rockhampton High School student felt his teacher was singling him out in class.

So on Wednesday June 17 at 3.45pm he drove his LandCruiser to the teacher's Port Curtis house.

He parked partway up the driveway.

He then did a burnout, leaving 1m-long gouges on the driveway and making unnecessary noise as he drive away down the street.


Student faces court after burnout payback on teacher, Michelle Gately, 31 August 2015, The Morning Bulletin.

Cleveland District State High School : staff allegedly attacked.

Staff members and one student are understood to have been attacked at Cleveland District State High school by two Stradbroke Island girls.

The Stradbroke Island girls were trespassing at the school at 4.00pm.

One of the girls was allegedly armed with rocks and sticks.

It was Parent-Teacher Night at the school.

Police were called and a female officer was head-butted.


Parent-teacher night at Cleveland school turns ugly with brawl, Josh Dutton, The Courier-Mail, 29 July 2015

Miami High School : student threatens shooting rampage.

At 9.30am on 30 January 2015 a 13-year-old student was expelled from Miami High School.

The student threatened to go on a shooting rampage.


Just after noon the Miami High school was placed in lockdown.

Bells rang and "everybody started screaming".

Hundreds of students were forced to huddle under their desks.

Police in bulletproof vests swarmed around the school.

Worried parents gathered anxiously outside the school.

There were reports that shots had been fired and that a gunman was running loose.


But the threats had been made on social media.

There was no actual shooting or violence.

The student's mother told police where he was and he was taken into custody. 


Drama school : student threatens shooting rampage, Greg Stolz, P. 29, the Courier-Mail, 31 January 2015.

Brisbane state school teacher egged by twelve Wavell Heights SHS Year 12 boys.

On 20 October 2013, twelve Wavell Heights State School Year 12 students threw eggs at a north Brisbane state school teacher and student during their 'muck-up day' celebrations.

The eggs hit the teacher and the student.

The boys were charged with wilful damage, trespass and wilfully disturbing the good order or management of a state educational institution.

Jenni Barber, the mother of one of the boys, said the boys had accepted responsibility for the egging of the school, the teacher and the student, but they were worried that the "excessive" punishment would affect their futures. 

"It just seems weighing on their future ability to step out on the world and embrace the world and being excited about the future," Ms Barber said.

What about the ability of the egged teacher and child to step out and embrace the world or to be excited about the future?

Ms Barber said the boys had also been named and shamed in front of the school during an assembly.

What about the public humiliation of the egged teacher and child?

"They don't seem to realise that making an example of them, as a teenager, can have a great effect on them."

What about the effect on the egged teacher and child?

Ms Barber said that the boys had been suspended from school, prevented from going to the graduate breakfast and were separated from their fellow students when they took their final exams.

"I'm still worried now. I don't want this to affect me later on," her son said.

What about the effect on the egged teacher and child?

"It was just a bit of fun. We didn't mean to hurt anyone."


You didn't mean to hurt the teacher and the child when you threw eggs at them?

Have you really thought about what it was like for the teacher and the child - surrounded by twelve out-of-control Year 12 boys - boys who are old enough to be in the army - throwing eggs at them?


Bad egg tossers in court for 'fun' joke, Brittany Vonow, p. 11, The Courier-Mail, 17 December 2013.

Professor Stephen Smallbone : One Queensland teacher arms children with sticks to protect themselves when they go to the school toilet.

Griffith Youth Forensic Service director Professor Stephen Smallbone made a submission to the Queensland Child Protection Inquiry, describing issues discovered in two Queensland communities.

Professor Smallbone advised the Inquiry that a teacher at one Queensland school was arming children with sticks to protect themselves from other children who were going into the toilet to abuse children who went to the toilet.


S-x abuse too shocking to tell, Sarah Vogler, P.4-5, The Courier-Mail, June 23 2014

Author's evidence gave hint of problem, Sarah Vogler, P. 5, The Courier-Mail, June 23 2014. 

2012 - 2013 : Queensland teachers are being attacked by their students.
During the 2012-2013 school year about 20,000 suspensions were handed out in Queensland state schools for physical misconduct.
Queensland school staff were kicked, headbutted, punched in the head and chased by out-of control students.

Some students forced themselves into locked down classrooms or places where victims were trying to take refuge.

Students, past and present, threatened principals, teachers and peers with knives and in one case a spear.

Parents and sometimes strangers threatened or lashed out at staff and each other.


In one incident a male student punched his deputy principal in the mouth, splitting his upper and lower lips.

The deputy principal then tried to restrain the teenager from behind - but the student headbutted him, connecting with his cheek.


Another teacher required stitches after being struck by a child.


One teacher was punched in the face and head several times by a student after they confiscated the child's mobile phone in class and fled to a staffroom, only to have the child force their way in.

At another school, a child was being pursued by a fellow student.

The child ran into the staffroom for refuge.

The pursuing student threw a chair across the staffroom and smashed his foot through a window.

Then he turned on the teachers.

He punched one teacher in the face, pushed another and kicked a deputy principal in the head.

It took three members of staff to restrain the boy.

The school went into lockdown.



QTU president Kevin Bates said some schools might need to consider instillation of security cameras and glass in foyers and administration. 


Robina Cosser says : What about protecting the classroom teachers, Mr Bates?

The QTU should take action to protect all members, not just principals and office staff.

Queensland classroom teachers urgently need security cameras to protect them against violence, verbal abuse and false allegations.


And we need to involve school  P and C's in student discipline - too much falls on the school principal's shoulders at the moment. 

Call poorly behaved students and their parents in to speak to the P and C.

And show them the video evidence.


"Let's remember, ninety-eight per cent of students are good kids," said Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek.



Robina Cosser says : what research evidence do you have to support that statistic, Mr Langbroek?

I suspect that very few Queensland teachers would support that 'research finding'!



Calls for security cameras and protective glass as full extent of school violence revealed, Tanya Chilcott, Sarah Vogler, The Courier-Mail, 1 November 2013  :

Violent students a fail for parents, Kylie Lang, p.21, The Courier-Mail, Sunday 3 November 2013

September 2011 - September 2013 : There were 391 s-xual offences in Queensland schools.
Children as young as four have fallen victim or been accused of s-xual offences in Queensland schools in the past two years.

About 100 of the alleged underage perpetrators face court a year.

Children are being sent to school toilets in pairs or threes to try to combat the high rate of s-x assaults.

Of the 391 incidents in the past two years, more than half were at primary school.

42 incidents related to allegations of r-pe or attempted r-pe.

In the first half of 2013 there were 11 r-pes or attempted r-pes in Queensland schools.

Police detective Inspector Peter Brewer said victims and alleged offenders were as young as Prep age.

"Child victims being very young are very vulnerable and so those are very difficult cases to prosecute but that's because of the innocence of the child victim generally, but it doesn't mean it's impossible."

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said schools had policies around students not being allowed to go into the toilet block on their own because schools had had "experiences where students on their own have been the subject of inappropriate behaviours".


Queensland Prep students committing s-x offences on their classmates, Alison Sandy, Tanya Chilcott, Additional reporting by Caitlin Drysdale, The Courier-Mail, 16 September 2013,

July 2008 - July 2013 : Queensland teachers claim WorkCover compensation for psychological injury caused by poorly behaved students.

During the five years to July 2013, WorkCover Queensland have accepted the following claims for psychological injuries to Queensland teachers who have been involved in distressing and violent situations at school -

$290,629.28 - student threw chairs and a table at a member of staff.

 $66,041.52 - false allegations.

 $69,231.24 - s-xual assault by a student.

 $50,258.87 - students rioted.

 $48,087.67 - a student pulled a knife and threatened staff and students.

 $42,837.25 - chased and threatened by students.

   $6254.48 - assaulted by a student.

   $2499.90 - continually threatened / stalked and had property damaged by students.

   $1248.00 - locked in a storeroom.

     $426.35 - two students with guns threatened staff.


Principals and teachers say the documented psychological injuries are just the tip of the iceberg.

Many injured teachers do not lodge claims.



Teacher stress costs millions, Tanya Chilcott, Page 6, The Courier-Mail, 15 July, 2013

Schools excel in mental anguish, Tanya Chilcott, Page 9, The Courier-Mail, 16 July 2013.

During 2012 there were 64,324 suspensions and exclusions from Queensland's schools.
Queensland classroom teachers are only allowed to hand out maximum lunchtime detentions of 20 minutes or after-school detentions of 30 minutes.

Principals have the power to exclude students but the process takes up to 25 days.

Even then, parents are able to lodge a final appeal with the director-general.


New figures show there were nearly 400 more suspensions, exclusions and mature-age student enrolment cancellations in state schools in 2012 compared with 63,936 in 2011.

Exclusions increased about 30 per cent to 1331, up from 1030 in 2011.


The majority of suspensions and exclusions, about 34,911, were handed out for physical or verbal and non-verbal misconduct.

Drug, cigarette and alcohol-related misconduct accounted for about 3200 disciplinary absences.

Five students were deemed to be so bad they were excluded from all state schools in Queensland.


Bad students get away with flouting rules, as figures show 64,324 suspensions and exclusions from the state's schools last year, Sarah Vogler, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 8 April 2013

9 April 2013 : Ex-Queensland High School teacher : the "Responsible Thinking Process" is a joke.
Many QLD schools have embraced Responsible Thinking Process as the main behavioural management program.
It is a joke!
If it is so wonderful, why are Police now employed to be onsite in schools around QLD.... and the students have no respect for them either!!!
Disgusted ex-QLD High School Teacher of Lismore, Reader's Comment 41 of 52, Schools need discipline back, Sarah Vogler, Rob Kidd, The Courier-Mail, 9 April 2013
9 April 2013 : Kevin Donnelly : some school disciplinary measures are more of a reward for students than a punishment.
Education Standards Institute director Kevin Donnelly says the "politically correct" system of discipline in state schools is not working.

"A lot of the approach at the moment is very new-age and politically correct, and we need to go back to a more disciplined sense of how teachers control the classroom and how children act in the classroom."

Dr Donnelly said some disciplinary measures were more of a reward for students than a punishment.


Schools need discipline back, Sarah Vogler, Rob Kidd, The Courier-Mail, 9 April 2013

11 November 2012 : I spend a good 30 per cent of my day dealing with behaviour problems.

I have a class of 23 students.

Of that number, three of my students are autistic, two are 'intellectually impaired' and three are living in foster care.

I have to differentiate (so that all of my students are able to actually understand) and teach a curriculum that is so jam-packed that it is impossible to cover everything and it is only going to get worse.

I spend a good 30 per cent of my day dealing with behaviour problems instead of actually teaching.

I call parents in the hope that it will improve their child's behavioiur, but there are no 'at-home' consequences for the child who calls their teacher a "f-ing c@**".

We can't go back to teaching the way it was 50 years ago.

Society has changed.


Kailie, Reader's Comment, Queensland students crammed like sardines as play areas shrink, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 11 November 2012 :

The parents of poorly-behaved students may abuse teachers.

My daughter came home and told of an incident at school (one of many of course) where a teacher asked a student to complete a legitimate task only to be told an unequivocal "no".

The request was repeated several times with the same reply.

The teacher left the room to seek assistance.

The student telephoned mummy and had a good old whinge.

Mummy turned up and tore strips off the teacher.

The teacher had to stand there and endure the rantings of this troubled woman, knowing that the whole time her position and standing in the classroom was being eroded.

This one of hundreds of stories and is a very mild example of the daily occurrences.


JHS of Rocky, Comment 14 of 67, Safe Work Australia figures reveal teachers are Queensland's most stressed workers, The Sunday Mail (QLD), 21 October 2012 :

How can any Queensland student learn well with the constant disruption of classes by poorly-behaved students?

Queensland high school teacher Paul Cavanagh has written to federal Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne to say that bad behaviour in classrooms is the main problem in Queensland schools.

Mr Cavanagh, 30, says that efforts to raise literacy and numeracy standards in Queensland's schools will be futile unless classroom behaviour improves.

He said politicians and parents need to understand that poor classroom behaviour not only wastes the time of the poorly-behaved students, it also affects the well-behaved pupils.

"It is the major contributing factor behind student performance at the moment - how does anyone concentrate or learn well with the constant disruption that is happening and nothing is being done?" Mr Cavanagh said.

"If I had a child of my own I would be so upset, not with the school or the teachers, but with other children to think that so much time was taken away from why my kids are there."

Queensland Association of State School Principals president Hilary Backus said behaviour was "getting worse".

Queensland Secondary Principals Association president Norm Fuller said there was "no doubt" behaviour was an issue, and there had been an increase in parents wanting to argue with staff and "take some matters into their own hands".

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said there had been an increase in more violent behaviour among children, with some parents actively working against teachers on the issue.



High school teacher speaks out on learning problem affecting well-behaved pupils, Tanya Chilcott, 28 August, 2012 :

Is violent behaviour on the rise in Far North Queensland schools?

There are 33,000 students in Far North Queensland.

4750 Far North Queensland students were suspended during 2011.

 104 students from prep to year 12 were expelled during 2011. 

The Queensland Teachers Union and Education Queensland agree violent behaviour from the Far Northern region’s youngest students is on the rise.

Department of Education regional director Clive Dixon said teachers were noticing violent behaviour earlier.

But violence in Far North Queensland schools is even worse than the official data suggests because suspensions and expulsions are the last resort.

Students often notch up several incidents of misbehaviour before they are sent home.

State president of the Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations, Margaret Leary, said the statistics were "frightening".


Students as young as four being suspended in Far North schoolyard attacks, Daniel Strudwick, The Cairns Post, 26 May 2012 :

It is difficult to educate young people who are poorly fed and rested and who have disgusting adult role models.

I have worked in state and catholic schools for over 25 years.

I have had three of my own children in Cairns schools.

The behaviour of students in schools has deteriorated rapidly over this time and verbal and physical assaults are a daily occurance at ALL schools.

I have nothing but praise for most of the teachers and administrative staff in our schools.

They are battling not only alarming funding cuts to essential programs, but also the disrespectful behaviour of a growing number of students and the similar indifference and rudeness of the adults who are the role models for our children who model these all too common and disgusting behaviours at home and on the streets.

Critics of teachers and the schoolng system need to actually spend time in the schools of today to witness how difficult it is to educate young people who are poorly fed and rested and who have little or no respect for others or their property.


Lainey Danson of Cairns, Reader's Comment , Students as young as four being suspended in Far North schoolyard attacks, Daniel Strudwick, The Cairns Post, 26 May 2012  :

Try being in a classroom with a child who throws things around the room at other children.
It is not only in high schools that there is a problem with student behaviour.
Try being in a classroom with a child who throws things across the room at other children, breaks other children's things, and will not stop.
The only thing a teacher can do is evacuate the classroom because they are not allowed to touch / restrain a child.
This is not allowing the other children to feel safe and secure to allow learning (Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs), a fundamental life need.
I still have trouble with the policy of inclusion of children with special needs.
Some children should not be in main stream education because they aren't getting the support they really require and they interrupt the other children from learning.
And the same applies to students with negative behaviour.
Cr*p at school, Comment 76 of 128, Queensland teachers call for help to deal with rising child mental health and behavioural issues, Tanya Chilcott, Andrew MacDonald, 11 May 2012 :
Would student behaviour improve if we brought back the cane?
The statistics don't lie.
Since corporal punishment was abolished in our schools thing have become worse and worse.
This is a social experiment that has gone terribly wrong.
Children need to learn that there are boundaries you don't cross for fear of the consequences.
Currently the consequences are no deterrent and so the violence escalates.
Let's not suggest that things were perfect when schools had the right to use the cane, but fewer students were willing to risk the outcome of unacceptable behaviour.
There must be a greater fear of the punishment than currently exists.
Students have the attitude that they can do as they please and no-one can touch them.
They take the attitude "I can bash and bully others but authorities, what can they do, they can't touch me".
I advocate that the cane be brought back before things get worse.
Nothing else has worked or been as effective.
Suspensions just give them what they want, time off school, and keeping them at school endangers other students and staff.
The cane will be as it was, and effective deterrent.
Observer of Brisbane, Comment 42 of 128, Queensland teachers call for help to deal with rising child mental health and behavioural issues, Tanya Chilcott, Andrew MacDonald, 11 May 2012 :
I find a lot of these comments about 'Bring back the cane" to be truly amazing.
Have you corralled the demented inmates of some Nursing Home today to blog away, remembering their youth back in the 1930s or something?
Any teacher who endeavored to use the cane these days would be assaulted.
The "cane administrator" would need to be a physically fit specimen with the mental toughness of a Nazi stroomtrooper to withstand what the new breed of young thugs would throw at him.
Con Barrington of Brisbane, Comment 48 of 128, Queensland teachers call for help to deal with rising child mental health and behavioural issues, Tanya Chilcott, Andrew MacDonald, 11 May 2012 :
Teachers are being assaulted and little is being done about it.
Students are getting violent.
A nice pat on the back from a Chappie or a Guidance officer is like handing these violent students a cupcake.
Teachers need to have more rights.
The teachers are the ones who have to break up the fights and then pick up the meltdowns.
Teachers are being assulted and little is being done about it.
Some parents believe their children are angels and they couldn't possibly have punched anyone or threatened anyone.
There comes a time when you just have to man up to being a parent.
If you bury your head in the sand, your kid will be the one who is getting away with it.
Teachers should only have to worry about teaching, not prison-wardening.
Three-quarters of a teachers' time is spent stopping interuptions and fights and abusive behaviour.
Teachers are not trained to be prison wardens.
They are trained to teach.
Me, Comment 34 of 128, Queensland teachers call for help to deal with rising child mental health and behavioural issues, Tanya Chilcott, Andrew MacDonald, 11 May 2012 :
Education Queensland does not provide 'a safe learning environment for every student' .
The Education Queensland official policy is to provide "a safe learning environment for every student".
Due to the behaviour of a lot of students now, this does not happen.
Parents are no longer responsible for their child's behaviour.
Teachers can longer resort to corporal punishment or even detention.
And most principals only think about data results, the next school audit and moving up to a higher band (and higher pay) school.
GH of Northside, Comment 24 of 128, Queensland teachers call for help to deal with rising child mental health and behavioural issues, Tanya Chilcott, Andrew MacDonald, 11 May 2012 :
Helensvale State High School : students abandoned on bus after they allegedly verbally abuse bus driver, set off fire extinguisher and look at p-rn on their mobiles.

TAG Gold Coast operations manager Les Manson said security guards would travel on all Gold Coast Surfside school buses from this afternoon to help control the students after a bus full of Helensvale State High School students allegedly verbally abused their bus driver, set off a fire extinguisher and looked at porn on their mobiles.

The bus driver radioed for help before pulling over and walking off the bus to a Helensvale school 500 metres away to talk to teachers.

A substitute bus driver was brought in to drive the rest of the route.

Education Queensland has issued a statement, saying the principal of Helensvale State High School had personally viewed security video footage from the bus yesterday afternoon and is completely satisfied his students acted in an appropriate manner.

"The students at Helensvale State High School have the full support of the principal."

The bus company is considering sacking the driver.


Driver abandons school bus, Bridie Jabour, The Brisbane Times, 20 April 2012 :

Mother of Queensland teacher : How can our teachers fulfil the requirements of the curriculum when their unruly students will not allow them to teach?

Our daughter is a high school teacher in a small country school and after half a semester she has found the 50 students are the most unruly she has ever come across in her seven-year plus teaching career.

In any other workplace, respect is considered to be highly desirable.

How on earth can a teacher fulfil the requirements of the curriculum, when students will not respect the teacher or give them a chance to even teach?

Teachers work hard and long.

Without co-operative students and supportive parents their task is nearly impossible.


Jenny Ford, Toowoomba, Letter to the Editor, Talking Point, P. 23, The Courier-Mail, 27 March 2012

Pacific Pines High School : teenage girl kicks and spits at school principal, then assaults police and spits at police car.

It is alleged the girl fled the scene after the attack.

When she was cornered, she assaulted police, kicking and spitting at detectives and on a police car.


Students cower in Pacific Pines lockdown, Jessica Elder and Melinda Siegmeier, , 27 October 2011:

Gold Coast school in lockdown, Melinda Siegmeier, , 26 October 2011 :

Nerang State High School : staff threatened with a knife.

26 October 2011 : It is alleged that a 13-year-old boy threatened Nerang State High School staff with a knife just before 3pm.

The boy was subdued with capsicum spray.

A boy has been charged with two counts of serious assault and one count each of possession of a knife in a public place and deprivation of liberty.


Students cower in Pacific Pines lockdown, Jessica Elder and Melinda Siegmeier, , 27 October 2011:

Upper Coomera State College : mother and two children cower in their car, teachers punched and pushed to the ground as students brawl in the primary school carpark.
10 October 2011: Teachers and parents tried to break up a fight at Upper Coomera State College.
Up to a dozen students were involved in a violent brawl in the primary school carpark.
Parents dropping their children at school were caught in the melee.
A mother and two children cowered in their car as the brawling teenagers surrounded their vehicle.
Cars were damaged and the police had to be called to bring the situation under control.
At least one teacher was taken for x-rays.
Tara Shire State College, West of Dalby : female student stabbed in the head with a steak knife during a lunchtime scuffle.
At Tara Shire State College, west of Dalby, a 14-year-old female student was was stabbed in the head allegedly by another student, 14, with a steak knife during a lunchtime scuffle on Wednesday 5 October 2011

The school went into lockdown shortly after 1.30pm and police were called.

The injured student was hospitalised. She required stitches.

A 14-year-old girl has been charged and will be dealt with under the Youth Justices Act.

She has also been suspended.


More than 100 suspensions handed out every school day for physical misconduct, Tanya Chilcott and Brooke Baskin, The Courier-Mail, 7 October 2011 :

Sunnybank State High School : ex-student attacks three students with a baseball bat.
On Tuesday 4 October 2011 three teenage boys at Sunnybank State High School were injured when four men - one armed with a baseball bat - entered the school shortly after 11.30am and attacked them.

School staff detained an 18-year-old man.

Authorities are hunting the other three suspects who ran from the scene.

Trong Van Nguyen, 18, a former student at the school, was charged with four counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed in company.

He has also been charged with trespassing on school grounds.

Investigators will claim Nguyen concealed a wooden bat in his pants which he used to lash out at his victims.

Teenager accused of bashing four people at Sunnybank State High School granted bail, Jasmin Lill, The Courier-Mail, 5 October 2011 

Boys hurt in Sunnybank State High School invasion, Matt Howard, The Courier-Mail, 4 October 2011 :
Nambour High : teachers spat at, called names, glasses broken by former student.
At about 3pm on 23 March 2011, a Nambour High teacher was trying to break up a fight between a former Nambour High student and a current student opposite the school's bus stop.
Former student Caleb Watson Fleming called the teacher offensive names, and spittle from three of his spits landed on the teacher's dress, lip and forehead.
Mr Fleming argued that he spat to the side four of five times and the teacher kept walking into the spittle.
When another teacher tried to get him to leave the site Mr Fleming made racial slurs at her.

Mr Fleming also pulled a pair of sunglasses from another teacher's face, put them on his own face, took them off and twisted them to try to break them, then handed them to a friend to jump on them with a scooter.


Former student spits on teacher, 21st July 2011 :

Public servants sitting in Head Office should get out into the real world and see what the staff have to put up with in Queensland high schools.
Working in a high school as a cleaner for 20 years, the last 5 years have become atrocious for both teaching and other staff.
The attitude of students is appalling. The swearing, the lack of respect for anything or anyone.
I constantly hear students defying their teachers, swearing at them and walking out of classes, then just walk around the school grounds.
If they are suspended from school they love it.
Principals and other head of departments just shut their eyes. They just ignore the problems of vandalisim.
It is about time that parents are made more responsible for their childrens behaviour, maybe hitting them in their pockets for all damages and being made easier for principals cancel students enrolments.
Warnings do not work.
I have had enough and I am getting out of the system.
I have been on sick leave for the past 10 weeks and enough is enough.
My health is more important than the money and these goodie-goodie-two-shoes that sit in an office in Brisbane and elsewhere, get out into the real world and see what all staff have to put up with in schools.
Our kids can't read or write and it is too late when they get to High School.
Elizabeth of Rural, Reader's Comment 40 of 107, Principals plead for help over disturbed students as behavioural problems worsen in classrooms, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 9 June 2011 :
Experienced teacher : There are at least three or four highly violent children in each class these days. I go to work with fear, wondering which child will kick off first.

I used to love my job with great passion and enthusiasm.

Now, I go to work with fear.

Fear of what will happen today. 

Which child will kick off first, literally.

I used to have an impact on childrens lives through my enthusiasm, passion, empathy and genuine care.

Instead of a baby bonus, I suggest that upon the child turning 4 years old, they are tested on basics such as alphabet, counting, colours and shapes. 

If they pass the parent is then rewarded financially for 'parenting'.

If a parent actually sat and played with their child from birth, all of these basics would be covered, the child would have reasonable social skills, and the bond between parent and child would have been made.

There is just so much anger out there from parents and in turn their children.

As a teacher, I don't have a choice as to which students I can teach.

Most of them, I would happily teach.

But there are at least three or four highly violent and disturbed children in each class these days who suck the life out of the teacher, the learning and the rights of both students and teachers.

I used to think that we were paid pretty well.

Not anymore. I want danger money.

Danger money needed, Reader's Comment 101 of 107, Principals plead for help over disturbed students as behavioural problems worsen in classrooms, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 9 June 2011 

Queensland teacher's sister : "Teachers, including my brother, have been sworn at, kicked, punched, spat at, and their cars have been vandalised".
EVERY state primary school in Queensland should be assigned specialists to urgently address worsening mental health and behavioural problems in the classroom.
It should be not only the primary schools which get specialist staff, but also the high schools.
My brother, and other teachers, have been sworn at, kicked, punched, spat at, and their cars have been vandalised.
They are even abused in public when getting about with their families.
It is for this reason that my brother now teaches only in the private schools.
David Irving of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 14 of 107, Comment 7 of 107, Principals plead for help over disturbed students as behavioural problems worsen in classrooms, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 9 June 2011 

Rising behavioural problems are impacting on Queensland school classrooms. Some Queensland principals are 'completely consumed' by dealing with critical incidents.

The Queensland Association of State School Principals president Hilary Backus said rising behavioural, mental and intellectual issues among Queensland students were impacting on the classroom and in some schools principals were "completely consumed" by dealing with police, the Department of Child Safety and parents over critical incidents.

Hilary Backus said bureaucratic red tape was also a big problem.

"The accountabilities being devolved to schools and, therefore by default, school principals is becoming ... excessive," she said.

She said that the workload now being "dumped" on the principals was "absolutely unrealistic and impossible".

Principals plead for help over disturbed students as behavioural problems worsen in classrooms, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 9 June 2011 :

Coolum State High : Year 8 student choked unconscious during tap-out game.

Zac Andrew, a year 8 student at Coolum State High, was choked unconscious by a male classmate in a "game" called tap-out.

The game involves a student placing a chokehold on another student from behind.

The attacking student is meant to stop choking when the student in the chokehold taps him twice.

But, in this case, the offending student allegedly kept choking Zac, despite Zac pleading with him to stop.

Zac collapsed unconscious to the ground.

It is understood that Zac remained unconscious for several minutes.

While Zac was unconscious the offending student drew on his face with a purple paint pen.

13-year-old Zac was left with a "massive egg" on his forehead.

Zac's parents, John-Paul and Kylie, are furious with the school ... ( see link to full article ).


Boy choked unconscious at school, Mark Bode, Sunshine Coast Daily, 10 November 2010.

Schoolchildren of all ages are at risk of r-pe and s-xual assault by other students.

In Queensland, "five-year-olds just starting school are at risk of violent abuse by older children in school toilets," says University of South Australia Child development expert Professor Freda Briggs.

"When we talk about child s-x offenders, most people assume we are referring to deviant adults.

Few realise that children of all ages are at risk of r-pe and s-xual assault by other children, even in junior schools."


Professor Briggs said she knew of at least 10 cases of s-x assaults by children against other children in Queensland schools in 2008-09.

Professor Briggs claims that many of the cases were not taken seriously by authorities.


Prof Briggs reveals claims that three five-year-old boys were s-xually assaulted by six-year-olds at a Cairns school.

"Two Prep boys allegedly accosted others going to the toilet," Prof Briggs said.

"Victims were forced to remove their pants and the boys urinated on them.

The school principal was criticised for failing to take action and not informing victims' parents.

"The cases ... have been swept under the carpet and victims have to leave the schools while the perpetrators remain."


Australian Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures show that five years ago there were 13 s-xual assaults committed by children but last year there were 68.

"Schools continue to push these problems under the carpet," Professor Briggs said.

"Boys are abused in school toilets, in classrooms when teachers are absent, ... at camps, ... and sports changing rooms.

Three boys from Years 1 and 2 were also alleged to have s-xually assaulted classmates in separate incidents at a Brisbane school in 2009.

An Education Queensland spokesman confirmed one of two year 1 boys, who performed s-x acts on two of their female classmates in the school's junior toilets in June, had been involved in similar episodes in March and April.

But the March and April incidents, which also took place in the toilets and were reported to the Department of Child Safety and Queensland Police Service, did not involve girls, only boys.

There have been five incidents in total at the school.

Parents of two of the three girls have since removed their daughters from the school.

  • Year 1 student s-x attack scandal widens, Margaret Wenham and Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 22 September 2009
  • Kids now s-x predators, Gemma Jones, Political Reporter, The Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2009 
  • Schoolchildren s-xually assaulting each other in Queensland - issue 'ignored', Jane Hansen, The Sunday Mail, 25 July 2010 

Editor's Comment : This article interests me because I was attacked for discouraging a student from using the public toilets in Cairns City Place during a short excursion.

I had concerns about the risk of the child being abused because there were two entrances - both concealed - to the public toilet, so it was very difficult to supervise.

And there are always a very odd assortment of people 'hanging about' City Place. 

Situations can become violent very quickly.

I had told the children to use the toilets at school because the City Place toilets were 'not very good' - I did not want to explain the exact nature of my concerns to the children.

The boy's mother verbally abused me in City Place for trying to protect her child.

And then the acting principal accused me of 'humiliating' the boy and told me that this 'was a disciplinary offence'.

I was forced to agree over and over again that I had done the 'wrong thing'.

But actually children do get attacked in toilets.

Former North Queensland teacher sues the Department.

A former north Queensland teacher is suing the Education Department for a substantial amount because a student threatened her with a knife.


B. Wilkinson, Malanda, Letter to the Editor, Talking Point, p. 79, The Courier-Mail, 26-27 June 2010.

Graham King, veteran Ipswich bus driver, says unruly students are creating an unsafe working environment for bus drivers.
Veteran Queensland bus driver Graham King made international headlines in February 2009 when he drove a bus load of students to a police station after he was hit in the back of a head with a projectile.

Mr King said while not all students misbehaved, the situation had not improved.

He claimed unruly students were smoking c-nn-bis on buses.

Mr King, who has driven buses in Ipswich for 40 years, has discovered (various items) at the end of school runs. 

He said other drivers had reported students performing s-xual acts on buses .

Mr King is at his ''wits' end'' with misbehaving children throwing food, fighting and burning holes in seats.

''You are constantly looking in the mirror to see what the students are doing, and not looking at the cars in front of you," Mr King said. 


The complaints follow recent reports of a 14-year-old schoolgirl attacking a Gold Coast bus driver.

Earlier this week, a Logan driver claimed he was threatened by the parents of a student after he complained about the child?s behaviour.


''It's very difficult for a driver who's got an out-of-control passenger and they're negotiating a bus through heavy traffic."

''Potentially, it's very dangerous,'' said Public transport lobby group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow.

''Drivers need a safe working environment. They've got a pretty difficult task ... if students are making it such that the bus driver's unable to concentrate on driving.

''That's a risky situation so it needs to be addressed.''

Mr Dow is calling for supervisors - such as members of the Parents and Citizens Association, a teacher or a community volunteer - to be immediately placed on school buses to help bring the situation under control.


Schoolchildren are having s-x on bus: driver, Courtney Trenwith, The Brisbane Times, 18 June 2010 

The parents of these children are ...

Parkers Simmonds Solicitors senior partner Bruce Simmonds warns that weapons are becoming more prevalent in Queensland schools and that the violence in Queensland schools is worse than ever.

"We're talking about children in Prep being extremely violent - you're getting extreme bullying and s_xual assault," Mr Simmonds said.

"The parents (of the bullies) are rubbish and the children are spoiled."

"They don't understand the effects of what they're doing, everything is me-related."

School bullying in Queensland costly for taxpayers, Alison Sandy, The Courier-Mail, 24 May 2010.

Disruptive students run around my classroom and bring the entire lesson to a halt.

I don't think parents have ANY IDEA what outrageous disruptions go on in schools today.

Most days, I simply can't get disruptive students OUT of my classroom: they simply run around the room and bring the entire class to a halt.

I have personally -

(a) seen students flatten a classmate with a chair

(b) seen students hit a teacher in the face with a rock

(c) seen a student who was thrown out of a classroom crawl back in through the window (so he could continue to raise h*ll).

For one very aggressive student, I was told to "keep your teacher's desk between the two of you at all times".

If the child doesn't want to be in the school (20% is my estimate), great, here's the door!

I want to stop babysitting and start teaching!

Registered QLD teacher of Mt Gravatt, Reader's Comment 7 of 12, Principals empowered to expel students, AAP, The Courier-Mail, 17 May 2010 

Cooktown State School teachers have to hide in a locked library. 

Cooktown State School teachers had to hide with students in a locked library on 9 March 2010.

Police were called to deal with eleven senior students who were involved in a violent melee in the playground.

Cooktown police explained that the problem was a "feud" between students from rival communities.

Cooktown State School teachers are also being threatened outside of school hours.

"Teachers are being intimidated and threatened and they are constantly saying they need background information on some of these children so they know what they're dealing with," a source said.

The students are carrying makeshift weapons such as stingray barbs and steak knives.

Students terrorise teachers, Gavin King, p. 31, The Sunday Mail : 28 March 2010.

Rockville State School, Toowoomba : Nine-year-old student throws chairs and threatens people with a fork.

A nine-year-old student at Rockville State School in Toowoomba was alleged to be throwing chairs and threatening people with a fork- like implement at about 1.45pm on 18 March 2010.

The school was put into lockdown and the Toowoomba Police were called.

Violent student sparks lockdown, Alyssa Kimilin, The Chronicle : 19 March 2010.

Queensland primary schools : close to five per cent of students are ADHD and ADD.

Students with attention deficit disorder ( ADD ) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) find it hard to concentrate.

They are often unruly and sometimes violent.

Across Queensland, ADHD and ADD affect close to five per cent of primary school children.

But at least three schools in the Lockyer Valley have classes in which one in every two students has either ADD or ADHD.

Queensland Teachers' Union ( QTU ) representative Barry Welch said several classes in Ipswich had similar levels of behavioural disorders.

At Gatton State School, a teacher in their first year in the job was given a class in which more than half of the students had behavioural disorders.

"The teachers need a lot more support than they are getting," Mr Welch said.

"There should not be so many ADHD students in a mainstream class."


Deputy-director of education and training Lyn McKenzie said: "We recognise the impact that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) and attention deficit disorder ( ADD ) can have on student's learning."

"Support services include -

 * individualised planning for each ADHD and ADD student, to be completed in the teacher's own time, after a long, hard day in the classroom and before going home to prepare for the next day's work,

 * provision of learning support,

 * small group programs

 * and professional development for teachers which has to be completed in the classroom teacher's own time after a hard day's work in the classroom and before going home to prepare for the next day's work,

 * and teacher aides - but Education Queensland does not provide enough teacher aides, and managing the teacher aide's work has to be done by the classroom teacher in their own time, after a hard day's work in the classroom and before going home to prepare for the next day's work."

ADHD cases swamp our schools, Chris Garry, Ipswich News: 19 January 2010.

Primary school on Brisbane's northern outskirts : many parents remove children. S-xual assaults and bullying problems alleged.
At least three year 1 and 2 boys are alleged to have s-xually assaulted their classmates in separate incidents at a Brisbane primary school on the city's northern outskirts since June.

One girl was pulled out of the school after she was allegedly assaulted, with another year 1 student, by two boys in the school toilets on June 16.

The girls' underwear was removed by the year 1 boys, who then allegedly performed s-x acts on the girls.

Police have confirmed they investigated an incident in June.

Two other girls were allegedly s-xually assaulted last week.

Parents of one of the girls told The Courier-Mail they reported the matter to police because they were unhappy with the way the school dealt with the situation.

The boy returned to class the next day without his teacher being told about the incident.

It was left to the victim's mother to warn the teacher that the boy should be monitored.

''We really need to do something more than business as usual,'' the girl's parents said.

They said the s-xual assault allegations, along with consistent bullying problems, had upset parents at the school, with many parents pulling their children out of the school.


Year 1 boys in s-x attacks at Brisbane school, Tanya Chilcott and Margaret Wenham, The Courier-Mail, 21 September 2009 

S-xual assaults at brisbane northern outskirts school : 'insider' comments on the situation.

This situation is not media sensationalism.

The media have actually downplayed the situation quite a bit.

The school in question has lost a ridiculous number of students in the last few years and is in serious need of change.

The behaviour of students in this school is appalling and like nothing I have ever seen.

Unfortunately this is a very, very sad situation and should not be taken lightly.

Insider of Brisbane, Reader's Comment, Year 1 boys in sex attacks at Brisbane school, Tanya Chilcott and Margaret Wenham, The Courier-Mail, 21 September 2009 :

"Not normal" happenings at school on Brisbane's northern outskirts.

In December 2009, Queensland Teachers' Union members took a vote of no confidence in the principal of a school on Brisbane's northern outskirts.

Education Queensland admited that there was a crisis of confidence at the school.

Education Queensland director-general Julie Grantham acknowledged what was happening at the school was "not normal".

18 cases of "inappropriate s-xual behaviour" between children had been reported at the school since 2008.

Eight of the 18 alleged incidents had happened during the last semester of 2009.

11 cases were reported to the police.

But only one student was suspended.

Parents, carers and relatives told The Courier-Mail of widespread unrest at the school, 

fuelled in 2009 by the alleged s-xual assaults and behaviour.

429 students were enrolled at the school in 2005.

298 students were enrolled at the school in February 2009.

85 students were withdrawn from the school by their parents during 2009.

An investigation into the school principal's leadership was expected to be completed by 10 December 2009.

The school principal is also under a separate investigation by the Department of Education.

School loses a third of students amid 18 s-x incidents, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 3 December 2009.

Queensland State Schools are shackled to poorly behaved students.

I teach in a Queensland state school.

Behaviour in many schools is absolutely horrific.

Until a zero tolerance policy is adopted, schools will remain shackled to the poorly behaved students.

Chris of Brisbane, Reader's Comment, Sort teaching wheat from chaff, Ross Guest, The Courier-Mail : 20 November 2009

I return home each day from teaching more shocked than the day before.

I have taught in many schools, some of them regarded by the public as the "better" public schools, and find the level of disrespect for teachers, fellow students, school management and most of all learning, to be not simply astounding but very disturbing.

I was a manager for over 20 years in a variety of industries and have worked in three countries.

I fear for the future of Australia - I picture the current students in a work environment and the tremendous problems managers are going to have trying to get value from these future employees.

I can only agree with Rupert Murdoch (Boyer lectures) that we are ill-prepared for the 21st century global challenges faced by humanity.

Students in middle and senior school struggle with grammar, cannot string a paragraph together, have little analytical skill, have no idea about deductive and inductive logic, have little or no moral foundation and understanding, are almost solely hedonistic in their outlook, have no coherent worldview and have parents who are disinterested.

A colleague contacted a parent to explain that their child was being disruptive, uncooperative, etc. etc.

The parent said, "You should be glad he is in school, he's not killing anyone is he?", end of conversation.

Bert Watt of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 451 of 457, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009


We are harbouring a generation of "couldn't give a damn" kids spoiled rotten by their gen-x parents who probably discipline their pets better than they do their own children.

And schools are hampered by this overly-rosy picture that children's egos are sacrosanct and that discipline should always be applied as a last resort.

Tom Barton, "burned-out" state education department employee, Reader's Comment 426 of 450, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009


During my two teaching pracs this year I've seen the best and worst of student behaviour.

Each school seems to develop a culture from its principal.

One school had a no-nonsense, proactive principal, happy to support teachers when behaviour issues arise.

Great and happy school for everyone.

The other school had a principal who was rarely seen and who let his teachers suffer repeated verbal abuse and shocking behaviour.

The teachers at this school (in western Brisbane) have poor morale and many students have poor behaviour.

Come on principals - lead by example and support your teachers!

Student teacher, Readers' Comment 452 of 457, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail, 7 November : 2009


I have been a high school teacher for the past 5 years and have now moved into another profession.

A large proportion of the students I have come across are not interested in their education.

Many see school purely as a place to socialise.

The increase in very poor behaviour and the mentality of not wanting to do anything has made the job of teaching predominantly about behaviour management.

As far as I can see, things are only going to get worse.

Kids are rude, see teachers as people they can treat like cr-p and know all their "rights" but sadly none of their responsibilities.

The number of students that now coin the phrase "You can't do that to me, I can sue you for that" has become a complete joke.

I honestly don't think that non-teachers realise how bad the State Education System has become.

I feel sorry for the people left in the profession; it is a thankless, stressful and underpaid job.

TC, Readers Comments 157 of 182, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009.

So many in the profession discuss the shocking behaviour outside of the classroom and have done for years, but are too afraid of the backlash from our employer to speak up about it.

The shocking behaviour and disrespect I have had to put up with throughout my five year career have definitely become worse, to the point where, this year, I was threatened with a fist in my face by a Grade 4 (nine year old) student that he was going to "F---ing punch yo in the f---ing mouth", after I had witnessed and responded to an act of violence he committed against another student.

Teacher of Far North Queensland, Reader's Comment 428 of 450, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009


I worked for many years as a teacher and administrator with Education Queensland. 

It only takes a few totally disruptive, uncontrolled students without any notion of self-discipline to ruin and chance of leaning for the majority of students.

Abuse by students, both verbal and physical, of other students, teachers and support staff, is widespread and increasing.

Principal no more of Queensland, Reader's Comment 446 of 450, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O' Loan, The Courer-Mail : 7 November, 2009


I work in a school and witness shocking behaviour on a daily basis.

An example this week ended up with a year one boy kicking, punching and verbally abusing me -

"I'm gonna break your f------ neck" was just one of the things he said.

- all because the bell rang and the teacher hadn't handed out pens that he wanted.

The parents didn't have the decency to apologise for their son's behaviour and claimed the education system "picks on" their son.

Behaviour is becoming worse - because for some parents it's easier to blame the system rather than to step up and take responsibility for the behaviour of their children.

Lyndy Huxley of Alex hills, Readers' Comment 442 of 450, Queensland heaeded for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O' Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009

Teachers' daughter :  teachers are now also welfare officers, playground bouncers and social workers.

With both my parents as teachers, I have watched as their job has expanded from simply teaching their subject to their becoming welfare officers, bouncers in the playground breaking up fights, social workers and crowd control.

Mardi Haworth of Hope Island, Readers' Comments 162 of 182, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail ; 7 November, 2009

Young Logan teacher horrified by the behaviour of both her students and their parents.

I am a young teacher in Logan in a tough school and daily see the horrific attitudes and behaviour of both students and parents.

Too many kids who have never had boundaries.

Too many parents who are willing to defend their child even if they have trashed a class.

Too many excuses.

The good kids deserve better.

Chris of Brisbane, Reader's Comment 171 of 182, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009

Teacher's husband : my wife has received death threats from a five-year-old.

To all those who blame the teachers for the lack of education that their children are receiving -

Quite often the teacher's time is spent trying to sort out disruptive children.

These disruptive children are taking time away from your child's learning.

As a Prep teacher, my wife has received death threats from a five-year old.

It's laughable.

But what kind of a home life does he have to start saying rubbish like that?

Only imagine how much time was required to keep him under control, so that the other children were not too disadvantaged.

Felix, Readers' Comments 150, Premier Anna Bligh finds $1 billion for Queensland teachers, Darrell Giles, The Sunday Mail, 7 November, 2009.

Veteran Queensland teacher : standards in Queensland schools have fallen both academically and socially.

I've taught in Queensland for over forty years and standards have always seemed to fall but in the last ten years they've just "fallen over a cliff" both academically and socially.

John, Readers' Comments 91 of 128, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009

Queensland High School employee : "The students lie through their teeth. I would not be a teacher for a million dollars". 

There is no respect for teachers.

I work in a High School and we are not supposed to speak out.

The arrogant, nasty pupils and their parents, the foul language they use around the school grounds and at the teachers.

They defy all the rules of dress code.

They have all the rights and teachers and other support staff have none.

Vandalism is rife, they have no respect for other people's property.

They lie through their teeth when confronted.

... Teachers are there to teach and should not have to put up with the cr-p that they do now.

I would not be a teacher for a million dollars.

Elizabeth, Readers' Comments 81 of 128, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail : 7 November, 2009

It is easier for a principal to appease a student and their parents than to support the teacher and to deal with the student's poor behaviour.

I have three teachers in my family.

The abuse all three have endured from their students is astounding.

The high school the two boys teach at, in regional Queensland, allows students to have their phones and ipods in class.

This is not conducive to learning.

In fact, when one girl was asked to turn her phone off as she was spending a lot of time texting on it, she told the teacher to "F--k off", then phoned her mother to "come up to the school and sort the f--king teacher out".

This was in the classroom during a lesson.

How can students learn when this behaviour is allowed to continue?

The student was "sent to the office".

But it was the teacher who was actually reprimanded by the principal for "picking on" the student.

The principal seems to have decided that it was easier to appease the student - and the parent - than to support the teacher.

I am extremely proud of my family and their dedication to teaching but they need support to do the job they have been trained to do. 

Mother of two teachers, Reader's Comments 26 of 128, Queensland headed for dumb, immoral future, warns teacher, James O'Loan, The Courier-Mail, 7 November, 2009.

Queensland Teachers' Union West Moreton organiser Barry Welch says Queensland teachers are afraid to intervene in incidents of bullying for fear of students making complaints against them.

QTU West Moreton organiser Barry Welch says that teachers have been brought before Queensland's Education Department just for separating two students who were fighting.

"The Current guidelines are very unfair for teachers," Mr Welch said.

"There have been teachers in Ipswich who have simply pressed on a student's chest to move them away from another kid and the student will complain about inappropriate touching."

"The teacher then has a mark on their record - even though all other evidence showed they did nothing wrong."

Calls for self defence training for teachers, Chris Garry, The Queensland Times, 2 September, 2009.

Coombabah State School : "more than 150 students truant every day". 

A Gold Coast teacher, fed up with the lack of respect and the attitude they face in the classroom, told Robyn Wuth of that the rate of truancy at Coombabah State School averaged more than 150 students every day.

The teacher told Robyn Wuth that every day, like clockwork, there is a mass departure from many schools at lunchtime.

The students wander the streets.

Nobody knows what they are doing.

But they are not learning to read and write.

The students are getting away with doing what they want, when they want.

The days of the cane are long gone.

Children know their rights. They know that if the teachers tried to physically drag them back into the school, they could claim that their teachers had assaulted them.

Education Minister Geoff Wilson's office says that the exact number of children wagging school is confidential.

The statistics would be hard to compile.

The figures are not kept centrally.

It's not an issue.

Executive director for schools on the Gold Coast, Richard English, has previously said there is no truancy problem in the city.

Round up those truants, Robyn Wuth, , 29 August, 2009.

QTU member : Enough is enough. Queensland teachers need better working conditions.

Dennis Bailey is fed up with his fellow teachers being abused.

At a Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) rally yesterday he told the Daily Mercury how his fellow teachers have been -

 - spat on

 - punched

 - had their property stolen

 - and yelled at in public on several occasions.

Mr Bailey said the teachers' dispute with the Bligh Labor government was not just about pay - it was about working conditions.

"Enough is enough," he said.

"Teachers need better treatment."

Teachers demand better treatment, Bianca Clare, Mackay Daily Mercury, 6 August, 2009

Logan teacher : I am moving to a completely different industry.

I have been teaching for six years in Logan and I have recently applied for two years' unpaid leave.

I have also recently enrolled in a TAFE course in a completely different industry.

Wages are too low in the teaching profession and working conditions are poor.

The problems (violence in schools, abusive parents, etc.) are increasing at an alarming rate.


Monica Dawkins of New Farm, comment 1 of 19, 10,000 teachers on leave as temporary ones take over, Natalie Gregg, The Courier-Mail, 9 July, 2009.

Ex-teacher : I made the move to greener pastures and I have never looked back.

Badly behaved children, badly behaved parents, continually working in your free time, endless curriculum and policy changes, less than ordinary pay, an ever thankless, critical and ungrateful community - seriously, who would want to be a teacher?

Is there any wonder that so many are on leave?

I say make the move to greener pastures permanent.

I did just that a number of years ago and I have never looked back.

It is only a matter of time before the Queensland government has to roll out a campaign like they did with the nurses to try to entice experienced, quality teachers back with promises of how "things have changed".

I, for one, will never go back.


You are welcome to it.

Ex-chalkie of QLD, comment 9 of 19, 10,000 teachers on leave as temporary ones take over, Natalie Gregg, The Courier-Mail, 9 July, 2009.

Ex-teacher : "We do not tolerate bad behaviour in State Schools," the Departmental spokesmen claim.

I am a teacher who left the profession because I was so disheartened with "the system".

I am also a mother of a daughter in Year 8 and a son in Year 10, both at a state high school.

So much time, energy and attention is given to the badly behaved students that the well-behaved ones spend much of their school day waiting.

I would like to count how many of the 25 hours of education they actually receive.

This issue is not only about the expulsion-worthy students but the continually disruptive, flat-out naughty children as well.

Their behavior is "managed", not really addressed or corrected.

How can a teacher give an inspiring lesson after going 4 rounds with "Disruptive Dan"?

It is mentally and emotionally exhausting tackling these students on a daily basis.

Parents need to take responsibility for their child's behaviour and stop blaming the teacher and/or the school.

The behaviour problems are societal.

Education Queensland needs to "get real".

"We do not tolerate bad behaviour in state schools" the Departmental spokesmen claim.


Today's system enables bad behaviour.

Bring back respect, good manners and serious consequences for bad behaviour.


Posted by Susan Daley, 2 June, 2009, Mornings with Madonna King, 612 ABC Brisbane Mornings, ABC Local Radio.

Teacher in Ipswich school : "Teachers are spending most of their time doing behaviour modification."

A teacher from an Ipswich region school, who spoke to The Queensland Times on the condition of anonymity, said students, some as young as five, had thrown chairs, bitten and kicked students and staff and walked out of class, and there were sometimes up to four unruly children per classroom.

"Teachers are spending most of their time doing behaviour modification rather than teaching," she said.

Wild kids cause classroom chaos, Felicity Caldwell, The Queensland Times, 1 June 2009

Queensland students "learn that they can lie about their teachers".

My son is now happily teaching at a school in South Australia.

He had enough of the Queensland 'kids rule' schools .

Last year he disciplined a Year 6 student for breaking a strict lunch time rule, by confiscating the child's soccer ball.

The child told his part-time father, a violent man, a fabricated story.

As a result of this fabricated story my son was threatened with physical attack and police action.

Luckily the school Principal stood by my son and the boy subsequently admitted he had lied, but as no discipline was meted out to the boy for his deplorable act and he got off scot free, he has learned nothing other than it is OK to lie.

The whole incident caused my son severe trauma and he saw the futility of discipline.

His motto for his remaining few weeks here in Queensland was 'let them do what they like'.


  • Posted by: Nettie of Brisbane, comment 92, Teachers subject to harrowing attacks by students, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, Monday, May 18 2009


Queensland state school students and teachers suffer because of the disruptive behaviour of some students.

I am a Queensland teacher.

I teach because I want to and I love doing it.

What I don't like is having to constantly give over more of my teaching time to those in the class who don't want to be there, or do not have the social and emotional skills to be in my classroom, or to those students who have parents who do not support what I am trying to do in my classroom with their child (in many eyes, I am a 'well-paid babysitter').

I would like SUPPORT from the Education Department to effectively deal with ALL of my students.

At the moment, my more-able students are being treated as sacrificial lambs at the expense of the less-able or less-inclined students.

I am starting to tell students (quietly) to complain to their parents about the disruptive behaviour of other students and encourage them to contact the school and Education Government about their lack of educational opportunities because of the acts and behaviour of others.

Most of my time is now focused on behaviour management and I don't think it is fair for the rest of the class to be made to suffer as a result of a minority of students in my classroom.

  • Posted by: A teacher and parent of Townsville, Comment 66, Teachers subject to harrowing attacks by students, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, Monday, May 18, 2009


Many Queensland teachers are being attacked by their students.
Queensland teachers are being terrorised by students - assaulted with bricks, furniture, threatened with death, spat on and held hostage.

One special school teacher had her jaw broken and multiple teeth knocked out in an attack by a student using fists, feet and furniture.

Another suffered extensive eye socket and rib damage after a student's assault.

Students terrorised one primary teacher and the teacher's young family for three nights in a row at the family home, throwing rocks on the roof.

Another teacher was forced into a storage room and then terrorised by a student whose hat she had confiscated in class.

The teacher tried to use a phone in the room to call for help but the student repeatedly disconnected the call by pressing the hook switch on the phone.

There were more than 150 attacks on staff and students across the state from intruders during 2008.

There is rising violence against teachers inside Prep classes.

A teacher specialising in behaviour management contacted The Courier-Mail last week to detail a barrage of attacks over the past fortnight.

"I've had a brick thrown at me, been threatened with dangerous weapons, had a chair thrown at me, a classroom window smashed, received very specific and detailed death threats and an assurance that, after I was dead, my classroom would be burned down," she wrote.

Teachers subject to harrowing attacks by students, Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-Mail, 18 May 2009 

An Elanora State High School student bared his backside in front of a young female teacher.

A 17-year-old student has been expelled from Elanora State High School because he bared his backside in front of a young female teacher during a student protest against being asked to wear the correct school uniform.

A crowd of students were rebelling against the new Elanora acting principal, who is cracking down on bad behaviour and dress code breaches.

Miami State High School principal Jim Baker was transferred to the acting role at Elanora on February 16 after the death of former principal Roslyn Wilson.

Mr Baker said he had spoken to students about the code of behaviour, a document drafted by the parents and citizens association in consultation with the community.

Mr Baker said societal norms had shifted and kids were far more argumentative.

"They ask questions, probe and speak up.

They back chat, they challenge, they want to know."

Students who spoke with The Bulletin believed Mr Baker's actions were 'too strict'.

"He's just a relief principal," said one student.

"People should be able to have piercings and dye their hair and have as much make-up as they want."

The Gold Coast Bulletin believes Mr Baker should be commended for his actions to clean up the school.

  • Student moons teacher in protest, Katrina Jones, Gold Coast News, Sunday 1 March, 2009
Sunshine Beach State High : male student allegedly smashes a staff room window.

Students at Sunshine Beach State High school were "unofficially" locked down in their classrooms yesterday after a male student allegedly smashed a staff room window with what was believed to have been an extension cord.

Police were called to the high school about 11am.

Officers arrived to find one of the staff room windows smashed and a highly agitated teenage boy.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said he looked out his window and saw a boy, wearing the school?s senior uniform, being chased by police.

A police spokeswoman said officers had been forced to use capsicum spray to subdue the teenager.


Students locked down in class, Amy Remeikis, Sunshine Coast Daily On Line, Friday 20 February 2009.

Queensland teachers report that classroom behaviour is on the verge of a catastrophe.

More than 55,000 suspensions were handed out for unruly and violent behaviour in Queensland schools during 2007-08.

This represents an increase of 20 per cent over 2005-06.

Too many Queensland teachers report that classroom behaviour is a problem on the verge of catastrophe.

  • Get ahead of unruly behaviour, Editorial, The Courier-Mail, Monday 16 February, 2009
What is Education Minister Rod Welford doing about the behaviour problems in Queensland schools?

Education Minister Rod Welford is right when he says (in the Courier-Mail, Jan 20, 2009) that

"Just about every teacher in the state is working in classes with students who have some measure of behaviour problems"

-but what is he doing about it?

  • Drew Jackson of Warwick, Letter to the editor, Talking Point, p. 24, The Courier-Mail, Wednesday 21 January, 2009.

If you work in a "difficult" Queensland school, your students may spit at you.

If you work in a "difficult to staff or remote" Queensland school, it is common to be -

* threatened daily

* pushed

* shoved

* spat at

* sworn at

* lied to

* insulted

and generally treated like a second-class citizen.


"John of Brisbane ", Readers Comments, Bonus to Teach The Toughest, Darrell Giles, The Sunday Mail : 30 November, 2008.

School principals (and teachers) are very vulnerable to abuse.

"Annie" is a deputy principal in a "complex" Queensland school.

Annie has been working as a teacher for 20 years.

Her workload has become heavier every year.

She does not have time for coffee breaks or lunch breaks.

This has affected her health.

She is dealing with children who have been incredibly emotionally damaged.

She has had to deal with as many as 16 six-to-20 day suspensions in one day.

Annie has to contact the parents of these children to discuss the suspensions.

These parents can be terribly abusive.

They can use the vilest language.


Annie says that teachers are very vulnerable to abuse.

Much more vulnerable than other public servants and members of the service community.

Because people can simply walk in off the street and demand to speak to a teacher face to face.

There is no screen to protect teachers from abuse.

Or from agressive, violent, drunk or drug-affected behaviour.

People can stand just inches away from you and scream abuse right into your face.

And you are alone.

There is no support while you are being abused.

And, when the person abusing you finally leaves the room, there is no support.

There is no de-briefing.

There is nothing.


Queensland teachers tell each other that Education Queensland burns out good teachers.

That if you try to do the job well, it simply kills you.

Because nobody can cope with the workload.


Realities of Life in Complex Schools, pp12-13, Queensland Teachers' Journal, Volume 31, Number 6 : 22 August, 2008.


Classroom teachers need much more support.

Bob Wilkinson of Lions Street, Malanda, wrote to The Cairns Post :

The system fails to support teachers.

Teachers teach their students "good manners" and they expect good manners, respect and obedience from their students.

But teachers are not allowed to enforce this teaching.

Anytime they try to enforce their expectations, there is some bureaucracy to thwart their efforts.

In any school, there are phone numbers for students to ring if they feel wronged by some adult.

But there are no phone numbers for teachers (or parents, etc.) to ring for hep in dealing with unruly, recalcitrant children.

In fact, most of the students using these help phone numbers are the ones causing the trouble, who ring with invented stories and are believed.

Nor is there any help from the authorities "in charge".

They either don't want to know or their hands are tied.

Bob Wilkinson said that when he taught in the ghettos of industrial England in the 1970-80's, it was more pleasant than teaching in many Queensland schools today.

  • System fails to support teachers, Bob Wilkinson, Your Say, p.13, The Cairns Post : Friday 6 June 2008.
The stress of teaching students with behaviour problems affects your home life and your health.

"Barry" did three years of country service, teaching in a Queensland state school.

Then he was transferred to a "complex" Queensland state school for another three years.

Barry was verbally or physically assaulted at this "complex" Queensland state school every day.

In one ten-minute period one student punched him, spat at him, threw her shoes and various other objects at him and abused him.

She was not even suspended.


Barry had to "lock down" his classroom several times.

Another teacher was stabbed in the arm.


The stress of the work affected his home life.

He found it very hard to get out of bed every day and go to work, knowing what was going to happen.


The experience still affects him.


Realities of Life in Complex Schools, pp. 12-13, Queensland Teachers' Journal, Volume 31, Number 6 : 22 August, 2008.



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