The NT News on Saturday 29 June headlined the fact that one teacher every day is assaulted by students, parents or others in NT Schools. This followed the revelation that half the Northern Territory’s school principals have been physically attacked at work (Wave of abuse at principals, NT News 27/2/2019).
THIS IS TOTALLY, TOTALLY APPALLING!!
The matter needs to be firmly addressed and not accepted as being normative, tolerated behaviour.
Government and the Department of Education uphold the safety of school staff as being a matter of utmost importance. If those words are to have meaning, there needs to be more than acquiescing to the abuse trending towards school leaders.
Educators have a right to feel protected and should not be discouraged from reporting and following through on matters of assault. The Education Department’s legal arm should be to the fore in supporting principals and prosecuting assailants through the courts.
Firm action against abusive students and adults would provide a clear and visible message that school leaders are not prepared to absorb this behaviour. That action has to be paramount. The trend must be visibly countered with full backing by Government, Education Department Teachers and Principals Association.
To its credit the Australian Education Union (NT) is always there to support teachers in these situations. However, there is often an ominous quiet, indeed a playing down of the issue, coming from other quarters. That quiet accomodation is not good enough.