August 10: School Governance weekly school wrap
Police investigate whether Sydney school was targeted by arsonists
News.com.au reported about Police investigating a suspected arson attack in Sydney causing serious damage to a high school. Emergency services responded after receiving multiple triple-0 calls from nearby residents and extinguished the blazed. The blaze started in the science block and quickly spread to other parts of the school. Police are appealing for witnesses.
Catholic Primary School has banned girls and boys playing together at breaks
The Herald Sun reported about a Catholic school announcing a strict new rule not allowing students from year five and six playing or gathering in co-ed groups in the playground. This rule was triggered after a love triangle between occurred between primary school students. The move by the school has angered parents who have labelled it “sexist.”
Updated guidelines allow Victorian teachers, doctors to over-rule parents for medical treatment
The Herald Sun reported about a Victorian schools’ program which could allow girls as young as 11 to obtain the contraceptive pill, without the need for parental consent. Updated Department of Education and Training guidelines for Doctors in Secondary Schools Program will allow teachers in secondary schools to overrule parents who do not wish their children to see a doctor during school hours. The guidelines will even make the contraceptive pill available to all secondary school aged students “considered mature enough to make a decision to see a GP.”
Teachers need more training to deal with problematic sexual behaviour
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, children as young as five are displaying worrying sexual behaviour at school, prompting concerns that teachers are ill-equipped to differentiate between students who might be victims of sexual abuse or mimicking what they view in the media. A lecturer from the University of South Australia said that research shows that teachers feel they do not know enough about problematic sexual behaviours to confidently manage increasing incidences in Australian schools.
Health authorities issue measles warning after Perth student infected
The West Australian reported about a measles outbreak in a Perth School. West Australia’s Health Department anticipates a spike in measles across Perth, in the coming weeks, after a teenage student returned from overseas with the infectious disease and mixed with a substantial number of students who were not vaccinated.
New Zealand: Drunk teacher performed sex act on student
Stuff.co.nz reported about a New Zealand teacher who performed a sexual act on a student. The teacher has had her teaching registration cancelled. The Teacher Disciplinary Tribunal heard that the teacher performed a sexual act on a student when working home drunk with the student. The teacher initially denied anything happened, but later conceded large gaps in her memory.
USA: Minneapolis school explosion: Two dead after building collapses in gas blast
ABC News reported about a second body being found in the rubble of a collapsed school building in Minneapolis after an explosion killed a school employee and injured several others. According to fire and school officials, the blast occurred in a building as students were playing soccer and basketball at the private Christian school, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through to grade 12.
USA: Female teachers told capri pants aren’t suitable for the classroom
9 News reported about a US school district coming under fire for their dress code, not allowing female teachers to wear capri pants as they were not considered appropriate to wear. The school district stated that attire is expected to be “professional and appropriate. The school district went on further to state that “some items of clothing that are not appropriate for work include jeans (except on Fridays), flip flops, sneakers, leggings (except when worn with an appropriate length dress), shorts and capris.”
USA: Ex-boarding school head gets 48 years for molesting student
The San Diego Union Tribune reported about a former headmaster of a Carlsbad military boarding school being sentenced to 48 years prison for repeatedly molesting a ninth-grade cadet from 1999 to 2001. Despite the accused proclaiming his innocence, there was corroborating evidence from other victims in other states where he taught. The former headmaster will not be released until he is in his 90s.