Corpun file 21371
The Gold Coast Bulletin, Southport, Queensland, 26 February 2009
Cane the answer
By Melissa Townsend
A TEACHER with more than 10 years experience in the industry has
called for tougher punishments for out-of-control students - and
for far more parental accountability.
Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday about his
frustrations after an incident involving a 15-year-old Upper
Coomera State College student, he said teachers needed to have
the power to educate and discipline returned to them.
The teacher, who did not wish to be named for fear of losing his
job, said the school was partly to blame for not taking the time
to discipline unruly teens.
"There are definitely problems with the administration (at
Upper Coomera) - it's a joke" he said."They are more
interested in getting rid of the kids than fixing the problem. They suspend
the kids, but what does that achieve?
"Half these kids' parents are getting stoned with them in
A nearby shop-owner whose children attend the school confirmed
the number of students being suspended was 'outlandish'.
She said on average at least five students were suspended each
"I had four kids come in the other day who were suspended
for five days for wagging, which just defeats the purpose because they think it's a holiday," she said.
The teacher said yesterday's incident reflected a greater problem
within the education system.
He said because of strict discipline protocols, school children
were running amok and teachers no longer had the power to control
"This is the first time I've heard of an incident involving
knives, but all schools I've taught at have the exact same
problems," he said. "The kids have too much power and
teachers have their hands tied.
"These kids know the teachers are powerless, so they can
literally get away with murder. That's part of the reason I don't
teach full-time any more.
"What can you do, short of gaffer-taping the kid to a chair,
which is assault.
"Most of the time I end up turning a blind eye, but most of
the teachers just suspend them instead of making them work in the
The teacher said the problem was compounded by the fact that
parents could no longer smack their children.
He said the only way to control reckless youths was to
re-introduce effective deterrents, such as the cane.
"I'm all for corporal punishment," he said. "Ever
since they abolished it, the world has gone to s***.
"Bring back tougher punishments or make parents more
"Parents should be accountable if their kid turns up to
"They are more interested in getting rid of the kids than fixing
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