Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the state government to provide Greater Shepparton Secondary College with the resources it needs to address escalating bullying and violence at the school.
Ms Sheed told Education Minister The Hon James Merlino MP in Parliament:
“I have been working with parents, police, school representatives, departmental officers and the minister’s office to ensure that supports are available for students, parents and staff.
“[The] government, through the Shepparton Education Plan, has provided $120 million for the new Greater Shepparton Secondary College, an extraordinary investment and opportunity to transform secondary education in our region.”
“The new buildings are well progressed, and the facilities being provided are outstanding.”
“Our children deserve this state-of-the-art, fit-for-purpose campus, but at the moment and during this transition period there is ongoing bullying.”
“There is fear, racial tensions and escalating violence among some students at the school.”
“During last year at the Mooroopna campus those tensions were starting out, they were increasing, and last week they erupted at the Wanganui campus, culminating in really terrible incidents on Friday the 26 February.”
“The violence clearly demonstrated the underlying and unresolved issues that have been festering not only in our secondary colleges but in the broader community for several years.
“As hard as they may try, teachers are under-resourced to deal with these matters. It is time to tackle this head-on; it is time to draw a line in the sand.”
“Any form of violence should not be tolerated in any setting. Greater Shepparton Secondary College needs the additional resources you have recently provided on campus to continue throughout the whole year to tackle this issue.”
“At Parliament this week I was able to secure urgent meetings with both the Minister for Education and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. We had very productive discussions and I am pleased that there will be supports to assist our community and the school to address many of the long-term and underlying issues.” Ms Sheed said.“Our children need and deserve a system that works with and for them. I look forward to continuing to advocate for the needs of our young people and their families, to ensure our students get the education, resources and facilities they require” Ms Sheed said.