John-Paul and Kylie Andrew with their son Zac. They say an ambulance should have been called when he lost consciousness at school.
John-Paul and Kylie Andrew with their son Zac. They say an ambulance should have been called when he lost consciousness at school. John Mccutcheon

Boy choked unconscious at school

A YEAR 8 student at Coolum State High was choked unconscious by a male classmate in a dangerous mixed martial arts-inspired “game” called tap-out.

The parents of the victim, who was attacked in a classroom during school hours last Wednesday, are furious that an ambulance was not called for their son and have accused the school of trying to cover up the incident.

Education Queensland said an ambulance was not called because neither student told teachers that the victim had been rendered unconscious.

But the Daily has obtained a copy of the injured boy's incident statement to the school, which was taken moments after the attack, in which he clearly states he was unconscious.

Marcoola couple John-Paul and Kylie Andrew said their 13-year-old son Zac, who told the classmate he did not want to play the game, was left with a “massive egg” on his forehead after collapsing unconscious to the ground.

It is understood Zac remained unconscious for several minutes, during which time the offending student drew on his face with a purple paint pen.

It is also understood the offending student was suspended. The school would only say that disciplinary action was taken.

The boys were alone in a classroom when the incident took place.

Tap-out, which is inspired by the popular but brutal Ultimate Fighting Championship, involves a student placing a chokehold on another student from behind.

As in the UFC, the attacker is meant to stop choking when the person in the chokehold taps him twice.

But in this case, the boy kept choking despite Zac pleading with him to stop.

In his statement to the school, Zac said everything went “blurry and rainbow” and then he woke up on the ground.

Mr Andrew, who was immediately notified of the incident, has accused the school of failing in its duty of care.

“We asked the question: ‘Why the hell wasn't an ambulance called?' They just had no answer for us,” he said, adding the school eventually admitted an ambulance should have been called.

Education Queensland maintained that the school's principal, Lee Goossens, and its first aid staff were not aware Zac had been unconscious but it was investigating the incident.

“Having not been advised by either student that the injured student had been unconscious, trained first aid staff made the assessment that an ambulance was not required,” Education Queensland's North Coast regional director, Greg Peach, said.

Mr Peach said Mr Goossens had stressed at a school assembly that tap-out was outlawed.

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