In the news: School chaplains & flogging, police van assault, and inaccessible firefighting

What’s grinding my gears today:

WA Today: Poor parenting alarms schools

Education Minister Julia Gillard has acknowledged that poor parenting is placing a heavy burden on schools and has promised principals she will give them more support to tackle violence, bullying and behavioural problems. […]

Gary Quinn, the principal of Dalyellup College in Western Australia, suggested schools should run programs to teach parents things such as the importance of bed time and a nutritious diet for children. He also suggested team sports be used to cut antisocial behaviour. […]

Chris Watt, the federal secretary of the Independent Education Union, said schools needed more time and resources to deal with discipline issues.

”When I was at school, these matters were dealt with by a flogging,” he said. ”I’m not suggesting for a moment that we go back to those days. I don’t know that they were necessarily particularly effective. But they were quick, and they were over and done with. Now, teachers and principals are being asked to spend extraordinary amounts of their time dealing with these issues.”

Roxanne Ware, the principal of Yalata Anangu School in South Australia, expressed concerns about the future of the National School Chaplaincy Program. Funding for the program, which was set up by the Howard government, expires next year.

Ms Gillard has said the Government will consider funding for the program in its budget, and has acknowledged the popularity of the program among principals.

ABC: Bashed Aborigines ‘like squashed tomato’

[…] Magistrate Alisdair McGregor made the comments in sentencing an Aboriginal man who kicked his partner in the face while both were in the back of a police wagon.

He told the Darwin Magistrates Court that while Aboriginal men in Katherine have symmetrical faces, “so many of the women have faces more or less like a squashed tomato”.

He says this is not hereditary or part of evolution.

“This is repeated thumpings, punchings, bashings, kickings, hitting with rocks, hitting with sticks,” he said, adding that the violence was perpetrated by both Aboriginal and Caucasian men.

“And some of these women are so ugly that one has to wonder what sort of a selfless thing that women can have,” he said. “Yet they persevere, some stick with their men.”

He said the man and woman were put in the back of the police wagon after being found drunk and despite a domestic violence order against the man.

The offender was sentenced to four months in jail.

WA Today: FESA rejects colour-blind firefighter

Discrimination against an award-winning amateur firefighter, who was rejected by WA’s fire service after he was diagnosed with colour blindness, has been upheld by a WA judge.

State Administrative Tribunal judge Judy Eckert has heard that on his fourth attempt to become a professional firefighter Paul van der Kooij reached the final stage of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority’s application process.

The tribunal heard that Mr van der Kooij, who had volunteered for the Guildford brigade since April 2007, was excited he would finally become a full-time firefighter.

But in June 2007, FESA arranged a test that diagnosed him as colour blind.

That July, his application was rejected because FESA thought the impairment posed an unacceptable risk to him, other firefighters and the public. […]

The discrimination was ruled lawful under an exemption provided by Section 66Q of WA’s Equal Opportunity Act, and Mr van der Kooij’s application was dismissed.

FESA chief operations officer Lloyd Bailey testified he was not aware of any WA career firefighter who was colour blind.

He said that full colour perception was required for myriad reasons, including being able to quickly recognise colour-coded equipment used only by career firefighters.

Other tasks requiring full colour perception included recognising differing coloured fires, triage tags used by ambulance officers to designate different patient injuries and lights on building alarm panels.

Categories: education, gender & feminism, indigenous, law & order, violence

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1 reply

  1. I thought team sports encouraged anti-social behavior.

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