Students defend their school after claims of shocking attack

SENIOR students at Ballina High School have defended their teachers and the school following an alleged attack in which a Year 7 student's arm was badly broken.

James Webb underwent three hours of surgery following the incident, which occurred during a recess football game last week.

His mum, Vikki Webb, says it was a deliberate attack by another Year 7 student.

She says he pushed her son to the ground, jumped on his back, broke his arm and continued to kick his arm.

The boy was suspended from school for four days.

The school maintains it was an accident - in a statement the Department of Education said James was "fallen on".

But the issue has divided readers on The Northern Star's Facebook page.

Ballina High School Year 12 student Shoni Reilly wrote that the behaviour of James' attacker was not the fault of the school or its teachers.

"The acting principals and teachers at Ballina High have the best interests of all children at heart," she wrote.

"They can't physically control the actions of each student and their actions in response to this incident would follow the precedent set for all students."

Both Shoni and another Year 12 student, school captain John Parker, also explained on Facebook that teachers had warned students against playing tackle football.

They said the game had been banned for years.

John also assured people that "any act of violence or wrong doing at Ballina High is dealt with appropriately and consequences are considered thoroughly".

"If you believe the school has not given this 'attacker' long enough, don't blame the school when they can only interpret the rulings regarding these actions that are given to them from higher up," he wrote.

"Ballina High School is a fantastic school, with great facilities, great teachers and great systems of working things."

But other Facebook comments have raised concerns about the school and supervision.

Jannine Campton wrote: "Even if it was just an accident, Ballina High School has a lot to answer for."

Kirby Bree said that "no child should ever have to go through this, and at school where children are supposed to be safe".

However, Heidi Burton said Ballina High School's teachers were "actually pretty damn good".


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