Teachers Bullied

A Queensland teacher fears for her safety after being attacked by a student in a school yard fight earlier this week.

The Brisbane high school teacher, who wished to remain nameless, said the incident caused her physical and emotional trauma.

She was kicked in the leg by a student as she attempted to break up a fight between classmates.

“The attack left teachers at the school feeling totally unsupported as no punishment was given to the student,” she said.

Statistics released by the Department of Education, Training and Employment highlight the number of disruptive students in Queensland state schools during 2011.

The figures show that 61,791 students received a suspension, while a further 2,144 had been expelled or cancelled from enrollment.

But the statistics may be an understatement as the teacher said the “principal was very hesitant to suspend anybody”.

“There’s no consistency in management or rules … It really affects staff and ultimately students,” she said.

A study, Staff Bullying in Australian Schools, was conducted in 2011 by researchers Dan Riley, Deirdre Duncan and John Edwards.

Over 800 teachers from diverse demographics were surveyed and it was found that “99.6 per cent of respondents had experienced some form of bullying during their employment”.

The violence towards teachers could also have long term affects on their teaching ability.

“The impact of bullying is reported to cause poor performance, damaged psychological health, and strong desires to leave the job,” the study explained.