Govt intervenes to calm tensions at troubled school

Last month, it was revealed that Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, located in Western Australia, hired security guards after an attack against one of its teachers.

Now help is on the way for the troubled school following an announcement by the state’s government that it will soon reopen a student engagement centre in the community to cater for students with behavioural issues.

The state’s Education Minister, Peter Collier, visited the school last Wednesday to attend a special forum convened to discuss ways to create a more harmonious atmosphere at the troubled school.

“You do not come up and listen to the issues we've heard today and think everything is fine,” Collier told the ABC last week.

“You cannot let the status quo prevail, because it is not working.”

The student engagement centre, located in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, will be a place schools in the area can send particularly disruptive students and ensure they receive the necessary support to reengage with their learning.

Collier said the Department had made a commitment to ensure the engagement centre would be more productive.

“In terms of the fact that it is dealing with more students, and assist the school as a whole in dealing with more disruptive students,” he said.

Collier also announced that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs' Kalgoorlie-Boulder office would re-open by the end of the year, saying its closure last year was “a mistake”.

“It shouldn't have closed, and I've acknowledged that,” he said.

Meanwhile, the principal of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, Ian Masarei, told the ABC that an internal review into the school's structures by the Education Department will begin this week.
“Staff morale is incredibly high, in spite of the number of issues that occurred last term,” Masarei said.

“There are no issues there, and we can go forward with a great deal of optimism, particularly given the great deal of inter-agency support we are going to be working with.”

He added the additional support from the Department would allow the issues to be addressed.

“While we have had to respond to some of this behaviour with suspensions, the majority of the school group get on with their day-to-day learning,” he said.

“I think the community does understand where we're at, and while there are some issues, the school is, in the main, running very well.”