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School CP - December 1976

Corpun file 14114 and 9643

The Advertiser, Adelaide, 14 December 1976

Student beaten, bruised, say parents

By Rick Burnett at Elizabeth

The parents of an Elizabeth Vale schoolboy are seeking an enquiry into punishment which, they say, left severe bruises on their son's buttocks.

Mr. and Mrs. J.R.F. Stephens, of Appleshaw street, Elizabeth Vale, say they believe their son, Alan, 12, was punished twice for the same offence.

Bruises on the buttocks of Alan StephensThey said yesterday that Alan had told them he had been sent to the headmaster after being caught fighting.

The headmaster had been out and the teacher in charge had struck him twice across the buttocks with a beach bat as punishment.

He had returned to his class where his teacher, allegedly dissatisfied with the punishment, had grabbed him behind the neck, forced him to bend over and struck him about six more times with another beach bat.

Mr. and Mrs. Stephens said Alan had not told them about the incident until the following day when his brother had seen the bruises and alerted them.

They had taken him to a doctor on the following morning and had received a medical certificate confirming the bruising.

Mr. Stephens said he had taken photographs of the bruising two days later and had taken the prints to the headmaster of the Elizabeth Vale Primary School.

"The headmaster called in the teacher," Mr. Stephens said.

"She said in front of the headmaster that she did not think Alan had been punished enough. She apologised as well, and said she had lost her temper.

"I said to her in front of the headmaster that I had made a written complaint to the Minister of Education."

mugshot of AlanMr. Stephens said he had not received a reply.

"We then went to Peter Duncan's office (MP for Elizabeth and Attorney-General), to see if we could take any action against the teacher for criminal assault or assault or something," Mr. Stephens said.

Mr. and Mrs. Stephens have 10 children, and next year seven of them will attend the local primary school.

The Education Department said officers of the department were looking into the matter and preparing a report for the Minister of Education (Dr. Hopgood).

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