Education Department figures show that violence in South Australian schools remains at an unacceptably high level, according to the State Liberals.
The Department of Education and Child Development Behaviour Management Report provides a snapshot of statistics relating to suspensions and exclusions at public schools during Term 2 each year.
The latest figures show that for the second year in a row there were more than 2,000 suspensions due to violence during Term 2.
“Violence in our schools is unacceptable and having more than 2,000 violence related suspensions in one term is alarming,” said Shadow Minister for Education John Gardner.
“Firm action must be taken to ensure that all children in South Australian schools are safe.
“Children also need to understand that violent behaviour is never acceptable. Assault should be treated as assault and schools should feel confident to call in the police when appropriate.”
The State Liberals also drew attention to the shocking number of small children in the 4-6 age bracket that had received suspensions in recent years.
“The last three years have seen a drastic increase in the number of small children receiving suspensions from their schools,” said Mr Gardner.
“Last year’s outcome of 189 suspensions (in Term 2) follows 209 in 2015 and 197 in 2014.
“As recently as 2009 there were fewer than 100 suspensions of four to six year-olds.
“Parents deserve to know why we are seeing such an increase in inappropriate behaviours leading to suspension by so many very young children.
“Our children deserve a world class education – they deserve nothing less than the best schools in the country.
“To see so much violence taking place is an enormous problem and will have serious impacts on their educational achievement. Minister Close needs to show firm leadership in this area and ensure that all our schools are taking a zero-tolerance approach to violence in schools.”