LisaHillSchoolStuff's Weblog

'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Violence in schools

Posted by Lisa Hill on December 16, 2008

On the same day that we learned that a 15 year old boy had been shot dead by police in Melbourne, we learned that the government plans to reduce the time that unmanageable students can be suspended from a maximum ten days to just three, and then only after an exhaustive process involving regional staff.  A new code of conduct is due to take effect from next year under the Education Department Blueprint.


Whatever the rights and wrongs of the police shooting, if that boy were still alive he would have been back in school this week under the proposed rules.  3 days suspension is not enough to set processes in place to protect staff and students from irrational and violent behaviour by disturbed young people such as these.


No wonder parents choose to send their children to private schools where they have autonomy to make sensible decisions in situations such as this.

3 Responses to “Violence in schools”

  1. Rhondda said

    I agree totally Lisa. It is a worry that principals and teachers are expected to “deal with” bullies and disturbed young people by the bureaucrats, politicians (and community) whilst “their hands are tied”. There are many students who are dealing with particular and disturbing incidents/problems. There should be trained personnel (most teachers are not trained for the seriousness of the issues nor do they have the time)and calmer places available for these students. Sending them back into schools, without any such help, is ignoring the problem in the hope that it will just go away. It would be much better to find out what is really troubling the young person and give them the skills and time to cope/overcome/etc. their particular issues.

  2. Lisa Hill said

    Hi Rhondda – it seems to me that this kind of policy nonsense is symptomatic of the state of our mental health services in general, and the unrealistic expectations that are held about schools in particular. As you can probably tell from my blog, I am a passionate believer in solving most behaviour problems by attending to student learning needs and creating a motivating environment, but I don’t imagine that even the best teaching will help a student with serious mental health problems. Not only that, as my principal says, any discipline system has to work for the *weakest* teacher in the school – not just for the strong and capable ones.

  3. thepuglover said

    Gidday my name is Rebecca!
    I live right around the corner from where this incident happened! I go to that shopping centre!

    The place that the event took place feels really cold and distant.. you can see people hanging around near the skate park looking lost..

    I believe that it is difficult to make comment about the situation as we are not directly involved.

    I am having trouble deciphering the meaning of your post. Perhaps, try to re-word what you are trying to say?


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