District principals have ruled out a need for CCTV cameras to be installed in the region's schools.By Elaine Cooney
Rochester schools have unanimously given the thumbs down to a proposal to install closed-circuit surveillance cameras in schools.
The Australian Principals Federation is lobbying the State Government to install CCTV cameras to deter parents from attacking teachers.
Federation president Chris Cotching said principals in larger towns surrounding Rochester had reported verbal and physical violence.
He told media while most parents were ‘‘like cheerleaders for the school’’, there was a small minority of who threatened, intimidated and sometimes physically attacked teachers.
Mr Cotching said the surveillance cameras were essential to provide a duty of care to school staff.
He said principals and assistant principals were six times more likely to be subject to abusive behaviour.
He said he wanted the State Government to foot the $6
Rochester Primary School principal Graeme Hodgens said while in the past his staff suffered verbal abuse from parents, there was never a hint of physical violence.
‘‘It’s never been more than an agitated parent,’’ he said.
‘‘Most parents have legitimate reasons for coming in.’’
Nanneella Estate principal Ian Denson said small schools would not exist if there were problems between parents and teachers.
‘‘If there were problems between parents and teachers, we would probably close down,’’ he said.
‘‘It would often be easier to put kids on a bus and go somewhere else.’’
Mr Denson said parents valued the opportunities small schools offered and were never rude or aggressive.
He ruled out the idea of a surveillance system.
‘‘We would never have any of that rubbish at Nanneella,’’ he said.
Rochester Secondary College principal Bernie Altmann said he considered putting in a CCTV system in the past due to vandals sneaking on to school grounds after school hours.
‘‘I’ve never seen a need to have any video surveillance in the classrooms or in the foyer,’’ he said.
He said there were times when parents and teachers clashed, mainly due to miscommunication.
He said the cameras would not be useful or cost effective.
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