School principals will be allowed to suspend and exclude students for misbehaviour outside of school hours under a controversial new bill introduced to Queensland's parliament yesterday.
The Strengthening Discipline in State Schools Education Amendment Bill will also give principals the power to suspend or expel pupils who are convicted of criminal charges, the Brisbane Times reports.
Under the proposed legislation a student charged with a serious offence such as rape, could be suspended until the charge has been dealt with.
The proposal would remove time limits on detentions and offer principals the option of Saturday detention and community service.
The bill would also let principals suspend or expel students for their behaviour outside of school if "the conduct adversely affects, or is likely to adversely affect, other students or the good order and management of the school or where the student's attendance at the school poses an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of other students or staff".
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the bill "provides a balance between enhancing principals' powers to operate in accordance with local circumstances while guiding consistent decision making that affords appropriate levels of natural justice and ensures the safety and wellbeing of students and staff is paramount".
The bill has been sent to the parliamentary committee for review but Mr Langbroek expects it will be passed in time for the first term of school next year.
Source: Brisbane Times
Author: Martin Zavan, Approving editor: Jack Hawke