VIOLENT acts in Orange’s public schools have skyrocketed with 13 reports of violence in the first half of 2016.
A report from the NSW Department of Education revealed there were 22 reportable incidents for violence, drugs and welfare issues, between January and June last year.
During the same time in 2015, there were only six reported incidents – and 19 over the entire year.
One incident on March 8, 2016, describes a male student getting to school in a “heightened state” and “hitting out” at students and staff throughout the day. The student then punched a teacher, who sought medical attention, before punching a second teacher.
Another student threatened to “kill” staff before throwing items in the school foyer around and pointing a weapon at the assistant principal, and then threatening harm towards a guidance officer.
One student was caught supplying drugs to students on March 17, 2016. Several students reported the student to the deputy principal, and alleged that he had been collecting money for the drugs.
On May 27, one male student assaulted the principal, deputy principal and assistant principal before police were called.
The incidents were reported to the education department by the Orange Principals Network which includes 6500 students in Orange, Molong and nearby villages, Canowindra and Cowra shire schools and schools around Blayney shire.
In Dubbo’s Macquarie network, there were 18 incidents between January and June 2016.
In the Bathurst network, there were 26 reported incidents including a school which was locked down after a student produced a knife.
A reportable incident can include anything from violence to a gas leak at school.
An education department spokesman said despite the increase in incidents at Orange public schools, they “are among the safest places in the community”.
“Any student involved in violence, bringing a weapon or illegal drugs to school, or who engages in criminal behaviour at school is subject to the department’s discipline policy and their parents or carer will be notified.
“The department supports schools in working with parents and relevant authorities in investigating and supporting students impacted by reported incidents. Counselling services are available for staff and students impacted by traumatic events.”