Wednesday, September 02, 2009

School covers up brutal bashing

Days after a 15-year-old boy died after a schoolyard brawl, a Gold Coast high school has been accused of covering up a savage assault that left a 17-year-old boy with a fractured skull. Southport State High School student Angelo Feraru, 17, will need plastic surgery after the unprovoked attack on August 21 that broke his nose and fractured his skull. His mother Mihela is just grateful her son, unlike Jai Morcom, is alive.

Angelo was sitting, eating his lunch when he was attacked by another student and punched in the face. His face was covered in blood and he was taken by ambulance to the Gold Coast Hospital where doctors said the teen's nose was badly broken and his sinus bone fractured. Doctors reset his nose and told Mihela her son would need extensive surgery to repair the damage.

Despite the severity of the attack, Southport State High School failed to report it to police. It handled the issue internally by dishing out a 10-day suspension. [What a joke!] Queensland Police yesterday confirmed they had no record of the vicious assault.

It is understood Angelo's attacker is a fellow student with a history of violence. He was expelled from another Gold Coast school after attacking a fellow student, breaking his jaw. He transferred to Southport High School where he assaulted another Southport student only three weeks before attacking Angelo.

On Monday, Ms Feraru and her son went to the Runaway Bay Police Station to report the incident but were warned against the complaint. The officer who dealt with the pair warned Angelo of the potential fallout if he pressed charges. "They tell us to be careful because Angelo has to live with this kid for the next few months before he finishes school," said Ms Feraru.

Gold Coast police district Superintendent Jim Keogh said it seemed 'incredible' police had only been told of the matter nine days after the assault. He said police needed Angelo to make a formal statement before officers could act on the complaint.

Mrs Feraru said she was scared to send her son back to school.... Ms Feraru said she went to the police station hoping they would stop the violence.

The danger of inaction is all too clear after the death of Jai Morcom last week. The 15-year-old died in Gold Coast Hospital on Saturday after suffering massive head injuries during a brutal brawl over lunch tables on Friday. "It make me feel sick in my stomach," said Ms Feraru.

In a statement released yesterday, Education Queensland confirmed 'an incident took place on August 21 and a student required medical attention'. "A student was disciplined in line with the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan," it read. The department said it would investigate any reports of schools not following policy. [So that's policy?? Expose innocent kids to brutal violence and do nothing significant to prevent a recurrence??]


Teachers are powerless to stop schoolyard violence

Not exactly surprising in the light of the severe limits placed on discipline by a Leftist government

The bashing death at school of a 15 year old boy in Mullumbimby last week is a symptom of a much bigger statewide problem in schools. Teachers are too scared to step in before things get totally out of hand. Put simply teachers now have little control. The consequences for students of bad, even violent behaviour, are now so insignificant students simply don’t care.

A teacher cannot restrain a student at all, they can’t yell at students or else they will be accused of emotional abuse. A teacher must simply say “please don’t do this” and then hope they are obeyed. Step outside this rigid set of rules and you risk being “EPACed” - every teacher’s worst nightmare. To be “EPACed” is to be investigated by the Education Department’s Employee Performance and Conduct Unit, a Gestapo-like division.

Students know this and play on it and why wouldn’t you if you were a child and knew what you could get away with. Eventually the ultimate punishment for persistent disobedience (after the student refuses to come to detention and throws the detention slip at the teacher) is suspension from school.

This means they are rewarded a holiday for their actions. If there are too many suspensions at a school the department then asks the school Principal to explain why so many students are being suspended and to come up with strategies to reduce the high suspension rate at the school.

Any teacher who physically intervenes in a physical fight in the play ground risks being reported by a student for physical assault and marched off to EPAC, where the onus is on them to prove their innocence.

EPAC acts as policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury and then executioner. EPAC do not make final decisions using the words Guilty or Innocent. Unless a student actually admits they were lying when they complained about their teacher, then the most a teacher can expect if they are innocent is if EPAC finds “there is insignificant evidence to prove the conduct occurred” the teacher then has this black mark on their record for life.

Some examples of a teacher being EPACed include a primary school teacher and friend of mine in Sydney’s North Shore who broke up a fight by physically restraining a student who was bashing another student.

That teacher was then EPACed and although it was found that the teacher trying to exercise their duty of care, the record of this incident is in their teacher job file held in Oxford Street (where EPAC keep all files) for the rest of their teaching career.

Another incident involves a teacher at a high school who whilst taking students on an excursion to an Art gallery was asked about a particular painting which was on public display which may have been interpreted as having sexual themes. The teacher told the students they did not want to discuss this painting and to move on.

Two female students then complained and the teacher was EPACed for allegedly showing students sexually explicit artwork. Even though EPAC decided that “there is insignificant evidence to prove the conduct occurred” the teacher now has that case in their EPAC file for the rest of their career.

Whilst a teacher is being EPACed they are told by the Principal not to discuss the investigation with anyone at the school. This makes them feel anxious and even more upset and attempts to punish them psychologically even though nothing has been proven against them.

After two accusations where there is “insignificant evidence” the teachers name is reported to the Commission for Children and Young People, (CCYP) essentially they are labeled a child abuser on the hearsay of often vindictive students who know they have the power now.

As a result of all this is it any wonder that what started as a fight in the playground at Mullumbimby lead to a bashing death of a student?. Students have the power and teachers know they can’t intervene physically anymore. The DET student discipline policy and it EPAC procedures are to blame and the situation statewide is only going to get worse as students relish in their new found power at school.


'Evil' axis blamed for high rate of black detentions

This fruitcake must have had NO experience of Aborigines. They are much prone to drunken violence, mostly against one-another. Even do-gooder official reports acknowledge that. Are we supposed to condone their raping little girls etc.?

A LEADING criminologist says an ''axis of evil'' made up of populist politicians, radio shock jocks and intransigent bureaucrats is the reason indigenous juveniles are 28 times more likely to be locked up and detention numbers are rising for the first time in decades. Those three groups of powerbrokers had failed to grasp the damage that tough law and order policies such as NSW bail laws were doing to Aboriginal children, Professor Chris Cunneen said.

The number of juveniles in detention had been dropping since the 1980s, he said, but that slide ended in 2002, while funding for many indigenous services had gone backwards in real terms.

Professor Cunneen was one of several speakers at a criminology conference yesterday who warned of the prospect of another lost generation if juvenile detention rates were not brought down. ''It's 20 years since I first spoke about juvenile justice issues at an Australian Institute of Criminology conference. Now we just hope things don't get worse rather than hoping for improvements,'' he said.

Aboriginal Legal Service lawyers who represent indigenous people charged with criminal offences were paid less than mainstream legal aid lawyers and worked an average of 10 hours more a week, he said. In the Northern Territory, Aboriginal Legal Services are so underfunded that they spend an average of $17 on a client's court costs, compared with $762 a client for mainstream legal aid. [Because there are so many Aboriginal offenders]

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, said something was seriously wrong when Australia's justice system showed a 27 per cent increase in indigenous juvenile detention rates from 2001 to 2007. ''We have a system more intent on locking up our kids than preventing crime in the first place,'' Mr Calma said. [And how are you going to prevent it? Take their booze away? That has been tried and failed many times and Leftists condemn it as "paternalistic" anyway]


Sometimes discrimination can be reasonable

Will the empty-heads of the Left start protesting against women who discriminate against short men or men who discriminate against ugly women? -- JR

By Janet Albrechtsen

IF only the UN were just a comedy gig. When it is merely amusing, it has a harmless, otherworldly quality. Try listening to former foreign minister Alexander Downer recount his recent run-in with UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Littered with dulcet UN lingo such as “Reaffirming the important role of women” and “Expresses its willingness to incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping”, the resolution calls for “gender mainstreaming throughout peacekeeping missions”.

Good for a laugh, sure enough this meant sending a gender officer of African extraction to meet Downer, who is now the UN special envoy to Cyprus. When Downer raised the gender mainstreaming idea with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders involved in resolving the conflict, let’s just say there was Mediterranean bewilderment about the UN’s predilection for searching for gender discrimination under every stone.

Unfortunately, the UN’s assumption that discrimination is always a dirty word enters more dangerous territory closer to home. Last week a UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights completed an 11-day fact-finding mission of the Australian government’s intervention in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. While James Anaya, an American professor of human rights law, said he would reserve final judgment until he concluded his visit, we all knew where this was going. The UN view from the transit lounge can focus only on the Big D, discrimination, and the Big R, rights. The government was discriminating against indigenous people by breaching several international treaties to which Australia was a signatory, entrenched racism infected the country and the Racial Discrimination Act needed to be reinstated to protect the rights of indigenous people, he said. No nuance enters the UN’s discrimination equation.

Having delivered headlines, the clever UN professor then went on his way, not offering up any of his own solutions to solve the dire conditions of Aboriginal women and children in remote Australia. Never mind the circumstances that led to the intervention. When Rex Wild and Aboriginal leader Pat Anderson crossed the country visiting 45 remote communities, they found abuse in every one of them. Never mind that the policy - restricting alcohol, requiring welfare money be spent on food and banning pornography - was introduced to stop the appalling abuse of indigenous children.

Imagine for a moment if Anaya had not succumbed to the UN’s default position where any hint of discrimination was derided as an abomination and Australia was given a standard UN bollocking.

Imagine if the UN sermon to the gathering press last week had focused on the need for indigenous people to be accountable for the crimes of violence and neglect so rampant in their communities. Imagine if talk about their rights had been matched with talk about their responsibilities.

Imagine if, instead of praising the new national indigenous representative body, Anaya had the pluck and insight to understand, as Noel Pearson does, that indigenous people do not need “another forum for victimhood” and agreed with Pearson that the proposed new body was “the worst result of all: the ability to complain but no ability to influence or take responsibility”. Imagine, indeed.

Outside the UN, those who jumped on their wobbly high-horse of morality to oppose the NT intervention right from the start - such as Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma - have been equally gripped by the BigD and the Big R, regardless of the atrocities uncovered by the Little Children are Sacred report. A few weeks ago, former governor-general Bill Deane said he hoped the word intervention would be expunged from indigenous policy discussions. “I cringe with embarrassment every time I hear it,” he said, criticising the lack of indigenous participation in indigenous policy.

That lack of participation would be news to Sue Gordon, the indigenous woman who headed the Northern Territory taskforce to protect those most vulnerable from criminal acts within indigenous communities. The view from the city-based armchair and from the airconditioned offices of well-paid indigenous bureaucrats protecting their own power base pays little heed to Gordon’s plea last year that we listen to “what women and some men in the communities are saying about how (the intervention) has changed their lives”. Let Deane cringe with embarrassment if it means pursuing a policy where fewer children will cry with pain.

Sermonising about a rights agenda when you have no responsibility is too easy. Responsibility tends to focus the mind. Hence a hooray is due for the Indigenous Affairs Minister responsible, Jenny Macklin. She defended the intervention and responded to Anaya’s comments by saying: “For me when it comes to human rights the most important human right that I feel as a minister I have to confront is the need to protect the rights of the most vulnerable, particularly children.”

Whether the issue is solemn or trivial, the wider soft-left liberal mindset is equally unable to comprehend any kind of complexity where there is the slightest hint of discrimination. Men’s clubs are inherently evil - “a relic of earlier times”, according to Julia Gillard. The Deputy Prime Minister has publicly taunted them for not accepting Governor-General Quentin Bryce as a member. Last week, when Bryce was made an honorary member of Lyceum, the exclusive women-only club in Melbourne, the sisterhood had nothing to say about relics.

Now here’s a really thorny one. How to respond to recent reports in Britain where local municipal swimming pools have banned swimmers during certain hours unless they comply with a “modest” code of dress required by Islamic custom: women covered neck to ankle and men covered navel to knees. A “relic of earlier times” or culturally appropriate discrimination?

And what about religious schools? Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls has called for a review of the exemptions under the state’s Equal Opportunity Act that allow schools to hire on the basis of religious faith. That’s discrimination. It is also a basic exercise of the right to religious freedom. Will the Left’s legal crusader, Hulls, defend that right by using his Charter of Human Rights? Probably not.

Intellectually inconsistent carping about men-only clubs and religious schools pales into insignificance compared with the hollow morality of those who preach about discrimination in indigenous communities. Consider the sad irony that those hailed as protectors of human rights and seekers of social justice continue to give succour to an outdated mindset that has demonstrably failed our youngest and most disadvantaged citizens. Fortunately, it is a sign more sensible times have prevailed when these misguided people are increasingly relegated to the fringes of meaningful debate while ever small children suffer abuse and neglect.


Your regulator will protect you

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has been in a panic after a failure in its on-line listing system for complementary medicines. The system includes a list of Proprietary Ingredients, that is, ingredients where only the TGA knows the full composition. One of the Proprietary Ingredients contains peanut oil, but when sponsors used this ingredient, the warning statement that it contained peanut oil, and need to declare the presence of peanut oil on the product label did not appear. The TGA is now contacting the sponsors of products containing this ingredient, advising them of the need to add the warning statement to the product.

The TGA responds: At the end of July, the TGA became aware the electronic listing facility was not generating a prompt to the sponsor to add the PEANUT warning (which alerts sponsor to add a warning to their label that the product contains peanut) when either the product contained a proprietary ingredient which included peanut, arachis (peanut) oil or Arachis hypogaea as an excipient ingredient , or when the product contained one of these as an active. The issues have all been resolved. In all circumstances these are correctly generating the appropriate warning upon validation. A total of 16 products were found to be missing the required warning label in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods entry. However of these only 1 of the products was currently being supplied and was found to have the correct warning label on the product already.

SOURCE (Via email)

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