1500 students suspended or expelled for assaulting Queensland teachers

Schools 'like fight club'

More than 1,800 Queensland students have been expelled in 12 months, while 174 teachers have been physically assaulted. 7 News Queensland

More than 1500 students have been suspended or expelled for assaulting state school teachers in the past 15 months, including 174 incidents that led to WorkCover claims.

Those 1500 students were some of the 82,000 students suspended or expelled over the same period, with 23,000 of those punished for physical misconduct.

The Opposition raised the figures during a budget estimates hearing, stating it was cause for concern.

1500 students have been suspended or expelled for assaulting teachers.
1500 students have been suspended or expelled for assaulting teachers. Photo: Supplied

"Any assault on our hardworking teachers is one too many," shadow Education Minister Tracy Davis said in a statement.

"How can we encourage more bright Queenslanders to become teachers when they can't ensure their safety in the classroom?"

Education Minister Kate Jones said the government had been working to address the issue, launching the 'respect our staff, respect our schools' campaign, which the LNP dismissed as "a glossy brochure".

"No one deserves to be bullied or threatened at work and that includes our teachers," Ms Jones said in her own statement, which followed the LNP's.

"We need to work together to set positive examples for our children, and demonstrate respect for staff and our schools."

The issue led to a heated exchange between Ms Jones and Ms Davis during the morning estimates hearing, where the Education Minister defended state schools from what she said was an unfair attack.


"I also really think that it is important to get on the record that 99 per cent of students in state schools are good students," Ms Jones said.

"They are students who come to school to learn, to engage, and they are lifting their circumstances through education.

"I will not sit here and take a line of questioning that is attacking every single studentĀ in our state schools.

"It is offensive to me and offensive to the good people who work at our schools."

Deputy director-general Patrea Walton said it was a nuanced issue, as the figures included teachers and staff who "may be assaulted in the course of trying to support a student with complex and challenging behaviours".

Estimate hearings will continue until Thursday.

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