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School CP - February 2009

Corpun file 21371


The Gold Coast Bulletin, Southport, Queensland, 26 February 2009

Cane the answer

By Melissa Townsend

A TEACHER with more than 10 years experience in the industry has called for tougher punishments for out-of-control students - and for far more parental accountability.

Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday about his frustrations after an incident involving a 15-year-old Upper Coomera State College student, he said teachers needed to have the power to educate and discipline returned to them.

The teacher, who did not wish to be named for fear of losing his job, said the school was partly to blame for not taking the time to discipline unruly teens.

"There are definitely problems with the administration (at Upper Coomera) - it's a joke" he said."They are more interested in getting rid of the kids than fixing the problem. They suspend the kids, but what does that achieve?

"Half these kids' parents are getting stoned with them in their garages."

A nearby shop-owner whose children attend the school confirmed the number of students being suspended was 'outlandish'.

She said on average at least five students were suspended each week.

"I had four kids come in the other day who were suspended for five days for wagging, which just defeats the purpose because they think it's a holiday," she said.

The teacher said yesterday's incident reflected a greater problem within the education system.

He said because of strict discipline protocols, school children were running amok and teachers no longer had the power to control their classrooms.

"This is the first time I've heard of an incident involving knives, but all schools I've taught at have the exact same problems," he said. "The kids have too much power and teachers have their hands tied.

"These kids know the teachers are powerless, so they can literally get away with murder. That's part of the reason I don't teach full-time any more.

"What can you do, short of gaffer-taping the kid to a chair, which is assault.

"Most of the time I end up turning a blind eye, but most of the teachers just suspend them instead of making them work in the lunchtime."

The teacher said the problem was compounded by the fact that parents could no longer smack their children.

He said the only way to control reckless youths was to re-introduce effective deterrents, such as the cane.

"I'm all for corporal punishment," he said. "Ever since they abolished it, the world has gone to s***.

"Bring back tougher punishments or make parents more accountable.

"Parents should be accountable if their kid turns up to school drunk."

"They are more interested in getting rid of the kids than fixing the problem".

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