VIOLENCE, assault, drugs, weapons, threats and intimidation – welcome to public schoolyards of the Central West.
The latest report from the NSW Department of Education details a wide range of incidents that have occurred in schools across the Canobolas [now known as the Central West Police District], Chifley and Orana Mid Western police districts.
All incidents involve students, and often teachers and other staff, and on many occasions police and paramedics have been called to the schoolyard to assist.
Of the 56 incidents during the latest reporting period of July to December 2017, most occurred in Chifley (21), followed by Canobolas (20) and Orana Mid Western (15).
Student welfare concerns featured the most often with 21 cases, followed by violence (16), drugs (nine), weapons (seven), inappropriate use of technology (two) and other (one).
Teachers lodged a number of welfare concern reports for the students they taught, many included students self-harming and some were attempted suicides.
Student welfare concerns featured the most often with 21 cases.NSW Department of Education report
On September 6, Canobolas police were called to an Orange school after one student threatened another and the school was locked down.
The student then threatened self-harm and also to injure the principal.
In Chifley, a Bathurst student walked out of their school on August 4 and then attempted suicide.
There were 16 reported incidents of violence in public schools in Chifley, Orana and Canobolas, the data shows.
On September 9, Orana police were called to a Dubbo school after a student begun verbally abusing students and staff and then made general threats.
The school was put into lockdown and then the student kicked and banged on doors to gain access to staff and students.
In Bathurst on August 10, one student physically assaulted another on the school bus. The victim was punched multiple times which resulted in bleeding and an ambulance was called.
Canobolas police were called to a school on August 29 after a student threatened to stab another with a knife.
The report shows that drugs were brought onto the school grounds by students at some schools.
Canobolas police were called to a school on August 29 after a student threatened to stab another with a knife.NSW Department of Education report
An Orange student was caught with drugs in their pocket on August 3, one Bathurst student offered drugs to another student on August 28. Police were called to both incidents.
On November 23, an ambulance was called to an Orana school after a group of students arrived at school under the influence of drugs.
Despite the number of incidents during this reporting period, a statement by the NSW Department of Education said public schools were among the safest places in the community.
“From time to time, Incidents do affect schools just as they affect communities and society as a whole,” the statement said.
“Following such an incident, the principal notifies the Department’s Incident Report and Support Hotline so support and advice can be provided to assist the school with the management of the incident.
“If the principal believes the incident may involve a criminal offence they are required to also notify the NSW Police Force.”