Abuse and threats of violence against Queensland teachers has forced the State Government to introduce a Respect Our Staff campaign.
Last year, 150 parents were banned from school grounds over violence or threats of violence against teachers, while 174 teachers received workers compensation after being assaulted by students.
Those figures are down on previous years, but the LNP’s education spokeswoman, Tracy Davis, said she was worried the violence was turning people away from teaching.
The issue was raised during a tense estimates hearing at Parliament House on Tuesday, when Ms Davis questioned Education Minister Kate Jones.
“It’s almost like fight club,” Ms Davis said.
Ms Jones dismissed suggestions that she had not done enough to protect teachers.
“Everything we have done since we have come into office is all about empowering teachers and supporting teachers in our classrooms and in our schools,” Ms Jones said.
“Whether it’s providing additional resources, additional teachers, so there is less stress in school environments.”
Campaign to focus on need for safe learning environments
Ms Jones said the Respect Our Staff campaign aimed to prevent abuse and violence directed towards teachers by raising community awareness.
“To set positive examples for our children, and demonstrate respect for staff and for our schools,” she said.
“This campaign reminds everyone in the school community that we can all play our part in making working and learning environments safe for all students and educators.”
The Queensland Teachers Union president, Kevin Bates, said violence against teachers was disappointing and a crackdown on aggressive behaviour was long overdue.
“What we have in front of us is a reality of our community,” he said.
“Teachers expect to be safe in their work places and it is the employer’s responsibility to keep them safe and healthy.
“Just as we have seen campaigns for our paramedics, teachers will be very soon on a public footing, saying it is not okay to come into a school and do the wrong thing by teachers and principals.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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