Canberra teachers deserve an apology from ACT government

On behalf of the ACT government, Education Minister Yvette Berry should apologise to teachers for failing to keep them safe from violent assaults at work, Shadow Education Minister Elizabeth Lee said.

Following a two year investigation into violence against teachers in ACT schools, WorkSafe ACT found that the ACT government breached its legal responsibilities to keep our teachers safe.

In an insulting response, Ms Berry unapologetically claimed her government is leading the nation in this area.

In a motion in the Assembly today, Ms Lee will call on Ms Berry to make an official apology and to keep the community updated on the government’s progress to make our schools safer for teachers.

“All teachers deserve to work in a safe and supportive environment but for too many teachers in our ACT schools, that has simply not been their experience,” Ms Lee said.

“The government has been aware of this troubling situation for years.

“Teachers across Canberra would have every right to be appalled that this government is boasting about its failures when they are potentially facing violence in their workplace every day.

“The ACT government should have worked hard to provide a safe teaching environment suitable to the unique challenges presented in the classroom, as it was legally required to do.

“By breaching its legal obligations, the government has essentially allowed physical harm to come to our teachers. As a community, we must condemn that.

“Ms Berry should apologise without qualification to our teachers and our community. The government should be open and transparent as it implements actions aimed at keeping teachers safe,” Ms Lee concluded.