Minister vows to protect school kids from knife attacks

More than 100 students were expelled from Queensland schools last year for incidents involving weapons, Parliament was told today.

In the wake of last week’s stabbing at Southport High School, Minister for Education Cameron Dick has announced initiatives and legislative changes to ensure Queenslanders “that our schools are safe”.

“Incidents involving weapons are very rare. And when incidents do occur, the department responds swiftly,” Mr Dick said.

In 2009-10 108 students were expelled from state schools for “physical misconduct involving an object”.

Mr Dick said he had launched an urgent review into all policies and legislation relating to possession of weapons in schools.

“The review covers exclusion powers, searching student property, responsible behaviour plans and the communication of policies to students and teachers.”

Mr Dick has established a Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence group as one of the initiatives to help protect students against, bullying and harassment.

In addition, the Education department will also extend powers for principals to exclude students for unacceptable behaviour without needing department approval as well as providing forums to give principals, teachers and P&Cs the opportunity to suggest ways for improvement.

“I want to send a very clear message to students and parents that knives have no place in schools and that we have a zero tolerance approach to violence in schools,” Mr Dick said.

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