Teachers beg student be kept home over safety fears
FRUSTRATED parents have called upon the Department of Education to overhaul its alleged lack of action in combating North Rockhampton State High School’s bullying problem.
Despite the school’s apparent issues, fingers have now instead started to turn toward the state’s governing body as more instances of physical harm come to light.
It comes after another concerned mother spoke exclusively to The Morning Bulletin last week, revealing recent shocking encounters with school officials which left her “dumbfounded”.
In one instance, the woman, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of her daughter, claimed that during a meeting with a school official he purposely ignored her concerns.
The revelation comes following repeated severe attacks on her Year Eight daughter at the hands of other students – the latest incident occurring only three weeks ago.
“Last year towards the end of the year we were experiencing some bullying. On the last week of the term last year, she was actually assaulted quite severely at the school,” the mother said.
“When she returned back, we noticed some behavioural issues.”
The concerned mother revealed a mental health consultation later showed her daughter was suffering a psychological condition as result.
Sadly, it appears little has been done to rectify the issue, with staff requesting the girl be kept home indefinitely over fears for her safety.
“They can’t guarantee her safety, but the young children who are being the bullies are still at school receiving the education that my daughter is not getting.”
The most recent attack also resulted in a teacher phoning the mother to ask if she could drive her daughter home as she had just been assaulted.
“I said no as I wanted to speak with the principal. But by the time I got to the school, nobody could tell me where my daughter was. I had to call her to physically locate her,” she said.
“[Staff] told me she was physically fine, just a little bit emotional, but she had a cut underneath her eye, was bleeding from the mouth and had a swollen eye and cheek.”
However, the mother remains hopeful the school will soon be productive in its bullying management following a meeting with the principal last week.
She was accompanied by One Nation member Torin O’Brien – whose earlier proposal for a new anti-bullying program was declined by NRSHS officials.
“They don’t realise the long-lasting effects bullying has on these students. In reality, children are being diagnosed with suicidal tendencies and mental health issues,” she said.
However, despite many incidents on school grounds – and the alleged lack of action by school officials – the Department of Education said no internal reviews would take place.
When approached for comment, a Department of Education spokesman echoed much of the same response it had offered when contacted regarding previous incidents.
“North Rockhampton State High School is committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment,” he said.
The Department said violence and anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated as the school continued to work to promote respectful interactions and a safe learning environment for everyone.
“Students and caregivers with ongoing concerns are strongly encouraged to report cases of bullying or misconduct to their school principal or their closest Department of Education regional office,” the spokesmans said.
“Where an issue cannot be resolved locally, the Department has a Customer Complaints Management Framework which allows the management of customer complaints in an accountable, transparent and timely manner.”
More information about the Department’s approach to customer complaints management is available here.