Deputy injured in pupils' spade attack

6th June 1997 at 01:00
NEW ZEALAND. A New Zealand deputy headteacher was left unconscious with a fractured skull after he was hit by two pupils with a spade.

Allister Gilbert, a horticulture teacher at Opononi Area school in Northland, was allegedly knocked to the ground, kicked and struck with the spade after trying to discipline a pupil for wearing a woollen "beanie" hat.

Two brothers, aged 16 and 17, have been suspended from the school and face charges in court.

The attack has prompted calls from teachers' unions for more resources to tackle classroom and playground violence. The latest statistics show that 32 children were suspended in the first quarter of the year for violence towards staff.

Martin Cooney, president of the Post Primary Teachers Association, said that overworked teachers are spending a good proportion of the school day trying to stop violent acts. About two-thirds of schools have "pre-suspension rooms", where problem students are given help to avoid banning them from school. Mr Cooney said all schools need such rooms as well as full-time teachers to run them.

Wyatt Creech, education minister, said he deplored the attack, but was not convinced extra teachers were needed.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now