April 14, 2018
WA Senator Peter Georgiou has condemned the seemingly cruel, harsh and insensitive treatment of a long serving Perth teacher who he claims was “simply thrown under the bus” after she was victimised by a problem student at a South-Eastern suburbs school.
Karen Young, a veteran teacher of 26 years at the same primary school, had been on stress leave for close to a year after she was assaulted twice on separate occasions by a year-three student.
In one of the assaults the student struck her twice on the arm and threw a chair at her. During the second incident, the child attempted to stab her with a broken pen, threw a piece of wood at her and then fired staples at her and others in the classroom.
The incidents caused significant trauma for the primary school teacher who had an unblemished record and had been given approval by her GP to stay on leave for several more months this year.
Last week, the Department turned its back on the career teacher and forcefully “medically retired” her employment, which means she can no longer work as a teacher, not even on a relief basis.
“This is an abhorrent and pitiful way to treat a loyal and long serving employee. Ms Young had asked for a transfer or a separation payout prior to this, but both requests were denied” Senator Georgiou said.
“Karen came to me last year with her concerns and we wrote to Education Minister Sue Ellery earlier this year, asking for a possible solution, but she declined our request to meet”.
“This government is on record on how it wants to treat its educators and its students, you just have to look at the situation involving the residential college in Moora, and this is no exception’ Senator Georgiou added.
“I call on the Minister and the Department to get together with my constituent and work together to either re-instate Ms Young into the system or give her what she deserves, because so far she has been treated like a second rate citizen”.
“Most of all, what message is this sending to other aspiring teachers who are going through our tertiary system?” he said.
You can read more about this story in The West Australian here: https://thewest.com.au/news/education/gosnells-teacher-forced-from-beloved-career-after-student-assault-ng-b88802584z