Heatley State School's message to students and parents after a teacher was stabbed at the school on Monday morning. Photo: Facebook
Heatley State School's message to students and parents after a teacher was stabbed at the school on Monday morning. Photo: Facebook

OPINION: Our teachers deserve better

ON MONDAY, a female teacher in Townsville was stabbed by her student, an 11-year-old girl.

And as saddened and angry as I was to hear this, I wasn't shocked.

Although this case is extreme, it is not isolated.

Teachers are being verbally and physically threatened and abused by their students every single day.

And I beg to differ that this incident didn't arise after some sort of warning or disrespectful behaviour from the student in question.

Regardless, no one deserves to be treated this way, ever, let alone in their own workplace, by students they are trying to help.

It is no longer acceptable to disregard this kind of behaviour, ignore it because of factors like age or upbringing and label teachers as "over reacting" because they don't feel safe in the classroom.

We need to take a stand and recognise that educators are investing their time into the future of Australia.

It is imperative that our society continues to educate each other and not allow this situation to be normalised.

And we need to honour that significant contribution by teaching our own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, the difference between right and wrong and the importance of respect.

On a personal note, I would be completely devastated to hear if my partner and my Mum, who actually work in this profession, came home one day with a similar story.

I have witnessed first hand the amount of time, effort and dedication that goes into planning, marking and resources and it is disappointing that some students are choosing to disregard this work completely.

I sincerely hope for the sake of this student, her peers, the teacher and the industry as a whole, that this incident is taken seriously.

And concerns from teachers about their wellbeing are met with compassion and action from school administration.