C’MON SPORT: GRL president Glenn Butcher, with Valley’s Junior Rugby League players Daniel Josefski, left, and Jake Kearnan, does not agree with Saturday detentions as it interrupts with sporting commitments.
C’MON SPORT: GRL president Glenn Butcher, with Valley’s Junior Rugby League players Daniel Josefski, left, and Jake Kearnan, does not agree with Saturday detentions as it interrupts with sporting commitments. Tom Huntley GLARUGB

Proposed Saturday detentions may mean kids miss out on sport

IT HAS been dubbed the biggest shake-up of school discipline since the cane was banned.

The Newman government has announced their discipline plan for local schools, proposing to Parliament that principals could give Saturday detentions.

The plan is to remove the red tape, to let principals crack down on poor behaviour more easily.

Students at some Gladstone schools are already being suspended at a rate of at least one per day, according to figures from Education Queensland.

But Gladstone Rugby League president Glenn Butcher believes Saturday detentions could stop kids attending weekend sport.

"The kids, who aren't as good or disciplined at school, get that discipline from sport," Mr Butcher said.

"It would be a backward step keeping these kids at school.

"It would be very disruptive. Saturday mornings is when sporting events are held."

School's a commitment, but so is work and sport.

Mr Butcher is a father himself, with children aged 15 and 18.

He also questioned who would be paying for the teachers who supervise these detentions.

"The answer isn't dragging them out of a sport with their friends and team mates where they build relationships," he said.

Students spend more than 30 hours a week at school on any given five-day week.

"The problem should be sorted in school hours itself rather than interrupting time on Saturdays."

The Observer got a mixed response to the idea, when we asked for Gladstone's opinions on Facebook.

Jessica Lennie commented, "If my child did wrong and got a Saturday I would have no issue making them attend."

But Tannum Sands State High School student Michaela Coyle believed the plan would be both inconvenient and ineffective.

"If people don't turn up for detentions during school hours, why would they turn up on weekends?"

"School's a commitment, but so is work and sport."