Community & Business

4 May, 2024

Teen assaults school-based police officer

A 15-year-old boy is being dealt with under the Youth Justice Act after a schoolyard brawl ended with him assaulting a police officer at Mareeba State High School.

Teen assaults school-based police officer - feature photo

Student witnesses reported that two 15-year-old boys had an altercation in which the school-based police officer had to intervene. 

It is alleged one of the 15-year-olds then shoved the officer to the ground and even made attempts to assault school staff members. 

This is not the first instance of violence at the school, with concerned parents taking to Facebook community groups over the past month to express their concerns for their children’s safety. 

Many said the bullying and violence was  “getting out of hand” and that there was nothing being done to prevent it from happening. 

A Department of Education spokesperson said appropriate consequences had been put in place for the student who had assaulted the officer.

“Incidents of this nature are a serious concern for schools, families and the broader community and are treated very seriously,” the spokesperson said. 

“The school has applied appropriate consequences to the students involved in line with the school’s Student Code of Conduct. 

“The school are also working with QPS on the matter and no further details can be provided for student privacy reasons.

“There were no weapons involved in the incident, contrary to some rumours circulating in the community and on social media.”

A QPS spokesperson confirmed that the school-based police officer was uninjured during the altercation and that the student was being dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.

Ongoing violence at schools is one of the main factors of the mass teacher shortage according to Queensland Teachers Union vice president Leah Olsson.

“Addressing the teacher shortage affecting schools across Queensland requires both the Queensland government and Department of Education (DoE) to attract more teachers to the profession and retain the teachers we already have,” she said. 

“A crucial part of that is to address issues of student behaviour; that includes DoE having genuine zero tolerance for aggression or violence in state schools, which are students’ learning places and our members’ working places.

“School leaders must be fully supported by DoE in any decisions they make around student behaviour, including issuing school disciplinary absences for the safety of staff and other students.

“All Queensland state schools must also have sufficient funding from both federal and state governments to provide more positive learning centres in all regions and for all year levels, as well as more specialist staff such as guidance officers.”


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