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Jul 18

Beaudesert high school accused of ignoring bullying

A FLAGSTONE mother has accused Beaudesert State High School of “turning a blind eye” to bullying after her son was injured in a violent attack.
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The year 9 student, who wished to remain nameless, said he was targeted by bullies soon after he enrolled at the school.

Three months of verbal abuse, threats and cyber-bullying came to a head last week when a classmate grabbed the boy by his shirt collar and began throwing punches to his face.

The boy said two teachers nearby witnessed the attack and made no move to intervene until other students had pulled the bully off him.

The boy was left with a black eye and swelling to his face.

He said he no longer felt safe in the school environment.

The boy’s mother said the attack could have been prevented if the school had acted when the bullying was first reported.

She said she did everything she could to bring the problem to the school’s attention, including sending evidence of bullying on social media to the year co-ordinator.

“I’m not happy with the school’s response or how they’ve handled bullying at the school,” she said.

“The school really turn a blind eye to what happens in the classroom.”

She said her son’s attacker got off lightly with a six-day suspension.

“They originally told me that if they fight, they’ll both be expelled,” she said.

EDUCATION Queensland has rejected suggestions Beaudesert High is turning a blind eye to bullying.

The Jimboomba Times made inquiries to Beaudesert State High School principal Alan Smith about the claims raised by a Flagstone mother but was referred to the Department of Education and Training.

A departmental spokesman denied the school was turning a blind eye to bullying.

“Any behaviour that compromises the safety and wellbeing of a student is treated with the utmost importance,” he said.

He said the school was aware of the incident last week but challenged aspects of the boy’s story.

“Two teachers in a nearby staffroom provided immediate assistance to separate the students involved in the incident. An ambulance was also called,” he said.

“Further details of this incident cannot be discussed due to reasons of student privacy. An investigation was immediately conducted by the school.”

The spokesman said the school had procedures in place to deal with bullying.

“As conflicts between students have many causes, they are managed by the staff who know these students best on a case-by-case basis at a school level,” he said.

“Beaudesert State High School takes a zero tolerance stand against bullying and is committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment for students and staff.

“The school reinforces this throughout the year through its Get Connected Program, a school-wide pastoral care initiative covering issues such as resilience, relationships, and positive mental health.”

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