The Western Australian Primary Principals’ Association (WAPPA) has called on the Government to introduce legislation that would see mandatory jail sentences for anyone who assaults a school principal or deputy.
The association’s President, Stephen Breen, cited data in an interview with ABC News, which shows that primary school principals and deputies were eight times more likely to be assaulted than a member of the public.
According to Breen, assaults are “happening in schools every day”.
“If you look at the state stats, it basically says that we have eight assaults in schools every day.
“A lot of them involve children attacking staff and we deal with that, but a lot of them involve members of the community coming into the school.”
ABC reports that as many as 30 per cent of school principals and deputies were assaulted in 2014 alone.
In the hope of creating a strong deterrence, Breen has called for members of WAPPA to be added to a list of public officers covered under section 297 and 318 of the state Criminal Code – a code that stipulates jail terms in the case of assault – which is usually reserved for police , ambulance and custodial officers.
“The data is shocking, absolutely shocking,” Breen said. “We had something like, in our system in 2015, 1,606 assaults on staff.”