Thousands of violent kids kicked out of our schools
THOUSANDS of Queensland kids have been booted from school after using guns, baseball bats, knives, scissors and other weapons against their classmates and their teachers.
But removing children and young people from class can be "misguided" and lead to more problems as they grow up, a leading child psychologist says.
Exclusive NewsRegional research shows Queensland state schools issued 346,234 expulsions and suspensions between in 2013-2017.
In the past two years, the state's principals handed out 95,682 suspensions for physical misconduct with and without weapons.
Weapons brought to schools included guns, explosives, tasers, knives, baseball bats and scissors.
Education Minister Grace Grace said schools had "a range of measures" to divert children from abusive and siruptive behaviour.
"I expect any situation which threatens a student's safety or wellbeing is treated extremely seriously, and dealt with as a matter of priority," she said.
Queensland Secondary Principals' Association president Mark Breckenridge said sometimes schools had to take a hard stance for the safety of staff and students.
"They are not the first point of action, they are a stage approach to maintaining discipline and sometimes a disciplinary action has to be applied," Mr Breckenridge said.
A Department of Education spokesperson said each school had a responsible behaviour plan to manage unruly kids.
"All students have a right to learn - and teachers have a right to teach - in a safe, supportive and disciplined school environment," the spokesperson said.
University of Queensland School of Medicine associate lecturer Michael Duhig said children might behave disruptively when certain needs were not met but it could be hard to pinpoint why.
"In my experience suspensions and expulsions are a misguided attempt at help," Mr Duhig said.
"These are kids who need help with whatever difficulties they are having with reading, anxiety or other issues but they don't know how to put their hands up and ask for help.
"They are not getting their needs met in order to thrive academically and we know if they are excluded they will be missing out on social interaction, learning and the big-picture social determinants for health."
Mr Duhig said carers, support staff and teachers needed to find out what kids needed and a way to meet those needs before resorting to suspensions and expulsions.
"If we can identify what the child needs, this can get them into a better headspace to learn and to enjoy the social aspect of school," he said. - NewsRegional