Police called as school loses control of agitated students
PRIMARY students visiting Willunga High had to be put into lockdown as police were called to control foul-mouthed teens roaming the campus after a lunchtime fight.
A Year 9 boy needed medical treatment for facial injuries after brawling with a Year 11 boy on Wednesday.
A group of boys ranging from Years 9 to 11, hyped up by the fight, then roamed the campus being "verbally revolting" to staff and refusing to come inside.
Police were called and in some cases drove the students home if parents were not available.
Principal Anthony van Ruiten said the whole school was put into a lockdown called an "invacuation", including a visiting class of Year 7s from Aldinga Beach B-7 School, to ensure more students "didn't join in".
"We had a group of students who were walking around the school that were agitated and had heightened emotions," he said.
"They were being verbally revolting to teachers. Staff were trying to get them into a place they could de-escalate and calm down, so they could get them back into the classroom."
But Mr van Ruiten said it was difficult for staff because they are not allowed to touch students, so could not force them to follow instructions.
"The police were called because they have powers that we haven't and they can de-escalate that sort of situation very quickly. The students view them quite differently (and) tone their behaviour down. Unfortunately kids don't automatically have respect for teachers these days."
Mr van Ruiten said rumours of a student wielding a knife were false. He said the injured boy had received medical treatment for minor injuries, but was unsure whether his mother had taken him to hospital.
The two boys in the fight, and the "four or five others" who caused the trouble afterwards, had been disciplined with "quite severe" penalties including suspensions and "longer term exclusions".
Some parents complained on Facebook that they were not notified of the incidents until late in the afternoon. The school replied: "We certainly realise we need to review our communication processes and will ensure this does not happen again."
Mr van Ruiten said the behaviour of "five kids out of a thousand" should not taint the whole school.
The Education Department said: "Any form of school violence is unacceptable and the school will work with the students involved and their families to reinforce this, in line with its behaviour management policy."
Police have been contacted for comment. Aldinga Beach B-7 School declined to respond.
Originally published as 'Revolting': School loses control, calls in cops