VIDEO: Shocking mob attack on teen girl at high school
A violent mob attack on a 14-year-old schoolgirl has lifted the lid on a culture of unruly behaviour at a western Sydney school with teachers struggling to keep the upper hand.
Shocking video footage of the attack at James Busby High School shows the girl being beaten by a large group of students as others watch on, heckling and filming on their mobile phones.
The victim was doused in water, had her shoes thrown over the fence and the violence left a medical device implanted in her right arm to monitor blood sugar "hanging out".
Frustrated staff say the incident highlights a lack of support for schools and teachers confronted by a rise in student aggression and the school is not alone in having to deal with it.
The video, circulated on social media, has led to a police investigation and the subsequent arrest of a 14-year-old girl who has been charged with assault school student occasioning actual bodily harm.
She is expected to appear in a children's court on December 16.
In the past week since the October 30 fight there have been three more fights on the school grounds.
Since July this year The Saturday Telegraph is aware of at least 12 serious incidents involving fights between students, intruders brought onto school grounds for organised fights and teachers being bitten, spat on, threatened and verbally abused.
The distraught Year 9 student has not returned to the Green Valley school since the assault.
She said she was having trouble sleeping since the assault and was terrified to go back.
"At lunchtime the bell rang, and this crowd approached me. A massive crowd of people, seniors, Year 10, Year 9, Year 8, people I didn't even know and had never spoken to, and I totally got beaten up," the girl said.
"People I had never even had anything to do with were just jumping in, spraying water at me, punching into me. Kids were recording and laughing, yelling 'kick her here, kick her there'.
"My friend got hit too. We got separated and there was just one teacher there. He was trying to get them off her. No one was there to help me."
The girl's father said he had gone to the school that morning to alert staff his daughter had received threatening Snapchat messages - one warning her she would be stabbed.
"I was very shocked. I talked to the school that morning so I don't know how this could have happened. They promised she was going to be fine, that they would look after her … they mustn't have taken this seriously or taken measures to prevent it."
The girl admits she had fought with her attacker the week before, over schoolyard gossip, and both were suspended for four days.
"It was just that mean girl stuff, I kept hearing things she was saying about me. That was just between me and her," she said.
"Then the next week I'm getting bashed."
Since the assault, security guards have manned the school entrances but more alarmingly the brawl was not an isolated incident at the school with some 600 students.
Staff in western Sydney schools say it follows a long-term pattern of disruptive, violent and disrespectful behaviour difficult to manage because of a lack of support.
Just two weeks ago the school was in lockdown over reports of students fighting. Teachers have been bitten, pushed and verbally abused when trying to discipline students.
Students at James Busby High School admit on a day in August, a classmate brought multiple intruders into the school grounds to find another student she planned to "have bashed".
"They pretended to be students in class waiting for recess for the fight but another student reported it," a student who asked not to be named said.
"They were all caught and left school grounds before anything happened."
Also during August a student made a fireball out of sparklers and ignited it in the classroom, another said.
"Then on another day someone lit the hand sanitiser on fire."
Speaking on the condition of anonymity a source close to the school said he hoped something good would come from the media attention and staff would be given more resources to schools across the state and particularly in western Sydney.
"This fight wasn't an isolated event and the school is not the only one to have these kinds of problems," he said.
"Teachers need better support in the classroom and when they follow through with discipline.
"While there are behaviour schools, students need to have a mild intellectual disability confirmation to even get considered and even then getting a student placement is near impossible."
He called for more in-school suspension centres "where they get the same discipline and boundaries for their own protection and the protection of teachers".
"There's been many incidents of teachers being assaulted. Teachers need more support so they can do what they do best and do it in safety," another said.
"Teachers in this area walk into school everyday to break up fights and hope that we don't get hurt in the process."
According to the NSW Department of Education website, suspension centres provide an intervention for students on long suspension. There are 22 centres across the state, seven in greater Sydney, each housing a maximum of six students at a time.
NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the government had failed to provide the necessary funding, staffing and infrastructure to manage student behaviour before suspensions and more needed to be done to protect teachers.
"The answer lies in early intervention programs, the provision of additional qualified specialist teachers, including more school counsellors and support for parents and carers," Mr Gavrielatos said.
A NSW Department of Education spokesperson said James Busby High School was a strong comprehensive school that did not tolerate violent or inappropriate behaviour by students.
"The department is supporting the students and families affected by this behaviour. The school has also involved Police, NSW Health, the Department of Communities and Justice and other support agencies in these matters."
Originally published as Shocking mob attack on teen girl at high school