Wollongong student threatened to stab a teacher with scissors

What went unreported in the NSW Education Department’s latest incident reporting in schools document was of greater concern to NSW Secondary Principals Council president Chris Presland.

But Mr Presland said cyber bullying and sexting was in fact a ‘’huge problem’’ for society in general.

He was also quick to put in context the increasing trend in the number of incident reports, including violence at school, bringing or using weapons and drug use.

‘’Schools remain the safest place in our society,’’ Mr Presland said.

NSW Secondary Principals Council president Chris Presland.

NSW Secondary Principals Council president Chris Presland.

‘’That increase is primarily due to some changes that took place in the reporting procedure about 12 months ago and a greater emphasis on the requirements of schools to report any incident of violence ... so a playground fight now for example is required to be reported.

‘’It is a concern but putting it into context, we are not talking about a crisis, we are not talking about a massive problem, or a blowout.’’

It is a concern but putting it into context, we are not talking about a crisis, we are not talking about a massive problem, or a blowout. - NSW Secondary Principals Council president Chris Presland

The Safety and Security Directorate incident report covered the period from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

Wollongong and Wollongong North Principals Networks recorded 65 and 34 incident reports respectively during this period.

One incident in the report told of a student who grabbed a pair of scissors and threatened to stab a teacher.

‘’As frontline workers, teachers and principals are certainly reporting an increase in the level of aggressive behaviour and or violence directed at teachers, primarily by a parent,’’ Mr Presland said.

‘’But the comment that I'd make about that is I’d actually think our society has a bigger problem here. The issue of aggressive behaviour is symptomatic of a society that just appears to be under enormous pressure.’’

One incident in the report told of a student who grabbed a pair of scissors and threatened to stab a teacher. - Incident reporting in schools document

A NSW Education Department spokesperson said many of its schools received bomb threats in 2016 which has increased the report numbers significantly.

‘’Many of these threats were automated phone calls which were part of an international phenomenon. The person responsible was subsequently arrested in early 2017 overseas,’’ the spokesperson said.

‘’The reporting of incidents enables the department to support schools through the provision of specialist advice and early intervention. Counselling services are available for staff and students impacted by traumatic events.’’

INCIDENT REPORT AT A GLANCE:

Term 4 (24/9/16 – 31/12/16) ;

  • Wollongong North Principals Network –
  • 1 other, 7 violence & 5 welfare incident reports

Term 4 (24/9/16 – 31/12/16)

  • Wollongong Principals Network –
  • 4 drugs, 2 other, 3 technology, 10 violence, 1 weapon and 4 welfare incident reports
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