A principal has invoked a 115-year-old statute to ban a parent from his school after she levelled serious accusations against its teachers on the school’s Facebook page.
The decision came after the woman made public claims of teacher-on-student assaults at the school, located south of Wollongong.
The claims, which involved a teacher physically assaulting three students in separate incidents, are now under police investigation.
In a letter sent to the woman on June 2, the school’s relieving principal advised the woman that her behaviour was “inappropriate” and that the decision had been taken to refuse her entry to the school for 12 months.
“Your behaviour on this occasion was inappropriate, and as a result I do not consider your current access to the school to be in the best interests of students or staff. You should note that entry on to the school is a privilege not a right,” he wrote.
“In accordance with my authority under the Act, you are directed not to come onto the school site again without my prior approval and then only for the purpose of seeing me. This directive is to remain in force for a period of 12 months.”
The Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 forbids people from entering an enclosed area “without the consent of the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of those lands”.
Today, the Act is referenced in signs on school entryways and is used, on occasion, to deter parents considered troublesome. Police can be called for any infringements, which attract a $500 fine.
“It’s a form of trespass,” Lake Illawarra Local Area Command Sergeant, Jason Harrison, told The Illawarra Mercury.
“It’s a formal way of restricting access to someone, putting them on notice that they no longer have a legal right to enter that property.”