Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

595 WA teachers were physically attacked by their students during 2017.

There were 595 physical attacks by WA students against teachers during 2017.

The number of WA student attacks against teachers has tripled since 2014. 

The State School Teachers Union (SSTUWA) says its members are seeing more extreme violence by increasingly younger students.

The union is using EBA negotiations, which resume this week, to demand the introduction of mandatory reporting of violent incidents against school staff.

Currently only student attacks on students must be reported.

SSTUWA president Pat Byrne says that a register of assaults on WA teachers  would allow the WA Education Department to track the location, frequency and nature of attacks.

Ms Byrne says that some WA teachers and principals feel helpless in the face of increasingly aggressive students and parents.

"Accounts of all kinds of violence have increased steadily over time but the number and nature os assaults perpetrated by young children has really surged recently.

"The sort of problems you would once start seeing in Year 7 in some instances are occurring as early as preschool."


SSTUWA is threatening to launch industrial action at the start of the 2018 school year.


WA teachers threaten strike over classroom violence, Josh Zimmerman, PerthNow, 7 January 2018

WA students who see violence in their homes come to school and attack their teachers.

Alleged physical assaults by students against WA teachers -

165 in 2014

444 in 2015

558 in 2016


(Why are these figures different from the ones in the article below?)


The incidents were "broadly categorised as assaults" and included -

 * serious incidents that required police involvement,

 * minor incidents such as throwing objects,

 * 'accidentally' knocking into teachers,

 * and teachers being struck while trying to stop fights between students.  


This escalation of violence against West Australian teachers is caused by an increase in drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness in WA homes, according to opposition education spokeswoman Sue Ellery.

"For some children, violence is all they see (at home), so more and more schools are bearing the brunt of that," Ms Ellery said.



Student assaults against WA teachers on rise, Regina Titelius, PerthNow, 8 January 2017

There were 1,606 assaults on West Australian school staff during 2015.

The West Australian Primary Principal's Association president, Stephen Breen, says there were about 1,606 assaults on West Australian school staff during 2015.

Which suggests that there were eight assaults on WA school staff every day.

A lot of these assaults involved children attacking staff.

Other attacks were by members of the community.


Mr Breen believes that assaults on school staff are under-reported.

He wants his members to be added to the list of public officers under section 297 and 318 of the WA Criminal Code , which mandates jail terms for assault.


Editor : But why just his members?

What about the classroom teachers?


Call for mandatory jail for assaulting school principals, ABC News, 15 June 2016

Chairs seem to be the most popular weapons in West Australian schools.

The West Australian Education Department recorded 63 violent incidents involving students using weapons to cause threat or harm in the first four weeks of the 2016 school year.

This equates to three each day.

Four of these incidents involved knives, seven involved scissors and 12 involved chair throwing.


Student, 12, assaults teacher with metal pipe during school rampage, Bethany Hiatt and Tayissa Barone, The West Australian, Yahoo 7 News, 3 May 2016.

Terror for West Australian teachers in 2016 : Sharyn O'Neill is setting up a 'Crack Team' to attack WA classroom teachers.

West Australian director-general of education Sharyn O'Neill has called on principals to apply to join a Crack Team to help identify and remove poor teachers.

There will be four members of this WA Crack Team, two principals and two 'labour relations specialists' - whatever that might mean.

The WA Crack Team will begin operating in February 2016 and will be based in central office but will spend most of its time in schools.

Sharyn O'Neill said that so far during 2015, 15 staff members who were subject to a substandard performance review had left WA public schools, presumably to be replaced by cheaper, less experienced and more easily manipulated teachers.

"The team will help principals to identify these teachers and provide them with the appropriate opportunities to learn, develop and improve."

"But it will also help to ensure that when these teachers cannot improve, or are simply not prepared to put in the effort required, principals have a smoother process for removing them from their school." (And, presumably, replacing them with cheaper, less experienced. more easily manipulated teachers.)

Ms O'Neill said that a poor teacher was one who -

 - struggled to manage student's behaviour

 - failed to set tests

 - failed to set homework

 - did not provide class routine

 - or was unable to deal with queries from parents.



Editors' Note : So, WA teachers - just one angry, irrational, out-of-control parent and you will lose your job!

And don't dare to send any poorly behaved student to the principal!

Life is going to get so much easier for WA principals in 2016 - no WA teacher will dare to ask their principal to help deal with any problem. 

Is this WA Crack Team really just an economy measure - a way to drive experienced teachers out of schools and replace them with cheaper, less experienced, more easily manipulated teachers - teachers who can be sent out to work in the remote schools?

Will teachers who make suggestions, try to deal with problems or ask questions at staff meetings be driven out of work?

We need some research into the sort of teachers who are attacked by this WA Crack Team.

2016 is going to be a fun year for teachers in WA schools!


Squad targets inept teachers, Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian, 25 November 2015

WA Principal : Children with autism can be very disruptive and cause teachers a great deal of stress.

A West Australian school principal reports that children with autism could be very disruptive and cause staff a great deal of stress and distress.

(Australian Education Union report to the senate inquiry into students with disability).




Mums' drinking behind disabled pupil spike, Natasha Bita, P.5, The Australian, 9 September 2015

555 West Australia teachers have been assaulted at school during 2013 - and it is only October.

There were 464 physical assaults against staff in West Australian public schools during 2011.
There were 527 physical assaults against staff during 2012.

The number of physical assaults against staff in West Australian public schools had already reached 555 to October 2013.

State School Teachers Union president Anne Gisborne said schools were increasingly dealing with violence from young students.


Student, 7, hits relief teacher in assault at Perth school, Yasmine Phillips, education reporter, The Sunday Times, 9 November 2013

Only 430 out of 1156 West Australian newly-qualified graduate teachers had got jobs by February 2013.

Less than half the newly-qualified teachers who applied for places in West Australian public schools in 2013 have been offered jobs.

The WA Education Department said that as of 2 February 2013 - the first day of the school year - 430 graduates were appointed out of 1156 who applied.

Just two teaching jobs had not been filled - a vacancy for a maths teacher in the country and for a part-time science teacher in the city.


"Not everyone gets placed at the beginning of the year," said Education Minister Liz Constable, "But I think all graduates can be confident that they have a good chance of a position in a public school during the year.

"It is a moving and continuing process across the year as people retire and resign."


A department spokeswoman said there were about 780 new graduates without jobs at the same time in 2012.

But by the end of 2012, 1028 graduates out of the 1266 who applied had positions in public schools.


Half of new teachers miss out on jobs, Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian : 3 February 2011

180 problem parents and former students were banned from West Australian school grounds during the four years 2007-2011.

180 prohibition orders have been issued by West Australian public schools during the four years 2007-2011, mostly for threatening and violent behaviour.

Problem parents are being banned from school grounds at a rate of more than one a fortnight.

And former students are increasingly returning to the schoolyard to terrorise teachers and pupils in some cases selling drugs or alcohol.


So far during 2011 -

* 25 public schools have banned 40 people from their grounds for up to 60 days. ( 19 parents, 15 former students, two family members and four others.)

* Most were banned for threats to staff (18) and students (5).

* But six have been issued with prohibition orders for violence to staff (3), students (2) or parents (1); and

* Four former students were banned for selling drugs or alcohol.

In 2010, 52 people were issued with prohibition orders, including 39 parents.

In 2009, 56 people were banned, including 36 parents.


Schools ban agro parents, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, The Sunday Times, 24 September 2011:

How many West Australian students have to be suspended for verbal abuse, swearing, name-calling and harassing their classmates?

590 West Australian students were suspended over verbal taunts or swearing during 2006.

951 were suspended during 2010.

This represents a rise of 60 per cent in five years.

Almost 45 per cent of the incidents involved primary school students.

Students were suspended for swearing, name-calling, verbally abusing and harassing their classmates.


Foul mouths in our schools, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 20 August 2011 :

531 West Australian high school students suspended for illegal substance abuse during the five years to August 2011

531 suspension notices, 95 per cent of them in WA high schools, were issued for illegal substance offences, mostly involving cannabis, during the five years to August 2011.

A further 401 were handed out for substance misuse, including cigarettes, alcohol and prescribed medicines.

More than 90 per cent were among WA secondary students.


Foul mouths in our schools, Yasmine Phillips, The Sunday Times, 20 August 2011 :

At least 856 WA teachers were assaulted at work between May 2009 and December 2010.

A revamped online reporting system recorded 856 physical assaults on West Australian teachers by students between May 2009 and December 2010
133 of these attacks were reported to police.

The statistics did not distinguish between serious and minor assaults.

Education Minister Liz Constable said many of the incidents were at the lower end of the scale.


Editor's note : Lower end of the scale?  

I find this comment by the WA Education Minister disgraceful.

Any assault on a teacher by a student is totally unacceptable.

And why were so few of these assaults reported to the police?


Shadow education minister Ben Wyatt said it was a concern that Liz Constable could not tell the Opposition how many convictions had resulted from the assaults because the Government had not followed the cases up with police.


Dozens of assaults on teachers each month, Daniel Emerson, The West Australian, 23 March 2011 

154 WA teachers seek Worker's Compensation after being assaulted at work during 2009 and 2010.

Latest statistics from the West Australian Education Department show 154 workers compensation claims were lodged by teachers in WA public schools as victims of assaults in 2009 and 2010.

In 2009, public school teachers were paid $714,754 for workers compensation claims relating to assaults.

In 2010, $282,665 was paid out for 69 assaults on teachers.


Mr Axworthy said costs associated with 2010 claims were lower at that point in time because there were fewer claims and many claims had not been finalised.


In 2009, 12 WA schools recorded two or more assaults against teachers, including four education support schools.

In 2010, 10 WA schools recorded two or more assaults against teachers, including six education support centres.

In most cases, teachers were "struck, bitten, kicked, punched, pushed, headbutted or spat on" by students.

Two WA parents attacked teachers in 2009.

No WA parents attacked teachers in 2010.


Scarred teachers paid $1m compo, Yasmine Phillips, Education Reporter, The Sunday Times, 29 January 2011 

WA school staff were physically assaulted by students and their parents 283 times during terms two and three 2009.

Staff were also verbally assaulted or threatened 37 times by parents in the same time frame.


"The staggering number of assaults on teachers is unacceptable," opposition education spokeswoman Michelle Roberts said.

"An assault rate of almost 300 assaults in just two school terms is despicable."

"It is alarming that the Education Department has no record of police prosecutions for assaults against teachers."


280 assaults at WA schools in two terms, Yasmine Phillips, PerthNow, 26 November 2009 :

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