Violence and student welfare were key concerns in schoolyards, according to the latest NSW Department of Education report into safety and security incidents.
The report detailed a wide range of incidents which occurred in public schools across the Hume Police District, and the Southern Tablelands and Wollondilly principals networks. The schools were not named in the report.
All of the incidents in the report involved students, and some involved teachers and other staff members.
In some cases, paramedics and police were called to schoolyards for assistance.
Of the 18 incidents during the latest reporting period of July to December 2017, there were 15 cases of concerns for student welfare, 10 cases of violence, one case of drug possession, three cases of weapon possession, one case of misuse of technology and two other incidents.
Some of the 18 reports contained multiple safety and security concerns.
In one incident, a student became angry and agitated in the playground.
Staff members were physically attacked, with reports of kicking, punching and spitting during the incident.
There were also serious verbal threats made towards staff members.
An ambulance was called, police attended the school and the student was taken to hospital by ambulance for assessment.
In another incident, a student brought a knife to school and made threats, the details of which were not disclosed in the report.
The weapon was confiscated, and the school was advised to contact the police youth liaison officer for advice as well as the Public Schools NSW director.
The safety and security incidents report also detailed an assault by a student on two other students.
The two victims were walking to the toilet block when a student engaged in a verbal altercation with one of the two victims.
The student grabbed the victim and pushed them against the wall and verbally abused them.
The victim’s friend intervened and attempted to separate the student and the victim.
The student punched victim’s friend several times in the face before they fell to the ground and the student walked away.
At a sporting day at a community oval in the Wollondilly, a student approached a dog and the dog’s owner started a conversation with the student.
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The owner asked where the student lived and offered them a lift home. The student declined.
When the student was walking back to school, the dog owner pulled up in a car alongside the student and offered them a lift again.
An accompanying teacher ushered the students into the school.
The dog owner then parked the vehicle and waited outside the school.
Police were notified about the incident, and details and a photo of the vehicle was provided.
A statement by the NSW Department of Education said public schools were among the safest places in the community.
“From time to time, incidents do affect schools just as they affect communities and society as a whole,” the statement said.
“Following such an incident, the principal notifies the Department’s Incident Report and Support Hotline so support and advice can be provided to assist the school with the management of the incident.
“If the principal believes the incident may involve a criminal offence they are required to also notify the NSW Police Force.”