Principals are top targets of assault, study reveals

OneNews 25 July 2013
School principals are six times more likely to face violence than the general population, with students and parents dishing it out equally, according to new research in Australia.
And the situation is likely to be just as serious here, New Zealand Principals’ Association president Phil Harding says.
The study by Monash University in Melbourne, released this week, found principals were more likely to face violence, threats of violence and bullying than the general population.
They were also working longer hours and experiencing higher levels of stress, the report said.
More than 2000 principals were surveyed and 38% said they had experienced threats of violence – compared with 8% of the general population – while 27% reported experiencing physical violence, compared with just 4% of the general population.
Parents made more threats than students, but they were equally likely to be the perpetrators of violence.
There were 54 stand-downs from Waikato schools alone for assaults on staff last year and, in 15 cases, the offending was serious enough for the students to be removed permanently.
There were also 263 stand-downs for verbal assaults on staff.
However, these figures do not account for incidences of assaults or threats by parents.