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Bullies ‘terrorising’ students at Warwick State High School

BULLYING CLAIMS: Parents have raised concerns about incidents of bullying at the Warwick State High School.
BULLYING CLAIMS: Parents have raised concerns about incidents of bullying at the Warwick State High School. File

ENOUGH is enough.

Frustrated parents have taken their fight against an outbreak of bullying at Warwick State High School straight to the principal, after a series of incidents have left students terrified to go to school.

The parents of a group of Year Eight girls held a meeting with the principal yesterday to voice their concerns over a student they say is a serial bully.

According to the parents, their children had been threatened with violence.

One of the parents, who didn't want to be named to protect his child, told the Daily News his daughter was afraid to go school.

"It's been non-stop for the past two weeks," he said.

"The girl has been terrorising, threatening them."

The bullying began last year, the parents said, and got ugly when a student allegedly punched and kicked another girl.

"The bully was suspended for just four days," one parent said.

The frustrated parent said he'd taken his case as far as the police, but was told he couldn't make a complaint unless there was an assault.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education and Training aid bullying was not tolerated in Queensland state schools.

"Any situation that threatens the safety and well-being of students and teachers is treated seriously, and dealt with as a matter of urgent priority," she said.

Warwick State High School has a bullying policy in place as part of a Responsible Behaviour Plan for students.

The Department spokeswoman said the school worked diligently to promote safe and respectful interactions between students.

"Students have access to a range of learning and wellbeing support services, including a guidance officer, chaplain, community education counsellor, school-based youth health nurse and youth support coordinators," she said.

"The school has a Head of Department for Student Well-Being and is also a Positive Behaviour for Learning School.

"In addition, the school's pastoral care program includes social and emotional learning as a central component."

Warwick High also has a number of anti-bullying programs such as 'verbal combat', 'love bites' and 'say no to bullying'.

According to the plan, on the school's website, punishment for bullying includes withdrawal from activities, suspension and detentions.

But according to the parents, it doesn't go far enough

"They have a duty of care to protect kids at the school," one parent said.

"We're not saying this student should be kicked out but she should be given some counselling or help."

The Department said that if bullying included possible criminal activities, it would be referred to police for investigation.

"Students and parents are strongly encouraged to report cases of bullying to their school principal or closest Department of Education and Training regional office," a spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman was unable to comment on individual complaints at Warwick High to protect student privacy.

Topics:  bullies, bullying, students, violence, warwick, warwick state high school



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