‘AMBUSHED’: Rocky schoolboy attacked twice in one day
THE CONCERNED grandfather of a student who was hospitalised following a bullying incident at Rockhampton State High School is calling for change.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke exclusively to The Morning Bulletin this week in response to the devastating incident.
His 14-year-old grandson Sam* was viciously attacked twice in one day at the Wandal school earlier this month.
Frustrations, the boy's grandfather explained, lay directly with school officials after they failed to contact family members after Sam* was first attacked by two pupils.
"When the teachers first intervened, I think at that time is when they should have rang his dad and had him picked up from school," he said.
Despite the Year 9 student seeing out the school day inside an office for his own protection, efforts would eventually prove both futile and short-lived.
"When Sam* came out of the glass doors at the school admin block, the other child had hidden behind the corner, ambushing and attacking him from behind.
"He whacked him in the back of the head several times, in the temples and the mouth," explained the boy's grandfather.
Sam* refused to fight back as he believed suspension or even expulsion come could as result.
"It was a cowardly attack, Sam* became very dizzy and his vision was blurred too. He was taken to hospital where he stayed for around five hours."
He has not returned to the classroom since the horrific attack which occurred on September 3.
Sadly, the young boy has also been forced to relive the events after footage of the attack was also posted a social media page dedicated to Rockhampton schoolyard fights.
The boy's grandfather said ineffective crisis talks were held with school officials days later - prompting him to request an internal review of the school's handling of the incident.
He also claimed school officials had assured the Department of Education had been made aware of the incident - which was later found to be untrue.
"I contacted the Department of Education not long after and they had no idea about it," the grandfather said.
However, a follow-up meeting held this week with RHSH principal Kirsten Dwyer to discuss a dedicated safety plan proved somewhat more productive.
"[My grandson] wants to go back to school, but it's got to be done in a way that shows the school has done their duty of care and will handle this in the correct and proper manner."
He hopes the internal review will bring necessary change to the school's bullying response protocol.
"Perhaps the perpetrator ought to be expelled, he also probably needs a bit of guidance. Parents really need to be held to account too."
"If kids are made aware of the consequences such as being expelled it might have a chance of stopping the flow on," the grandfather suggested.
However, the issue, he added, also fell with the State Government which "appeared to be doing little to combat the devastating issue."
"Safety plans need to be looked at broadly for all schoolchildren, basic conditions should be made so that it can protect any child, but also added to for unique cases."
A spokesperson for The Department of Education said while they could not speak on specific cases, they were aware of allegations made by a parent about an incident between students at the school.
"The school and regional office are working extensively with the student and their family to resolve their concerns," the spokesperson said.
They added the school had implemented a range of programs and initiatives across all year levels and participated in the annual National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
"Rockhampton State High School does not tolerate violence and anti-social behaviour and continues to work diligently with students and their parents to promote safe and respectful interactions and a safe learning environment for everyone in the school community."
Any students involved in unsafe or inappropriate behaviours will be dealt with in line with the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students, the statement read.
"Any situation that threatens the safety and wellbeing of students, staff or others in the school community is treated extremely seriously, and dealt with as a matter of priority."
*Names have been changed to protect identities.