It's been revealed that teachers in NSW are beng trained on how to physically restrain violent children, including blocking punches and using leverage techniques to break free if a student grabs hold of them.
A department spokesman confirmed teachers have been provided training by US-based company Crisis Prevention Institute, who normally teach prison officers how to subdue violent inmates, News Corp reports.
While corporal punishment and any form of disipline that "includes any threat of physical and violent harm" are still banned, teachers have been learning procedures for dealing with violent students, including how to block a punch and leveraging techniques.
“Any restraint should be only that which is reasonably necessary to prevent a real and immediate threat of injury or serious damage and where there is no other practical way of preventing the likely injury or damage,” the spokesman said.
Teachers from both primary and secondary schools are recieving the training, which is designed to force violent students into submission without breaking bones or triggering a heart attack.
The Education Department says 18 public school students had to be physically restrained in the first half of 2016, but there are reports of several more instances where teachers have been bitten and hit by children.
CPI instructor Paula Elliott told News Corp teachers were taught to consider potential legal fallout before touching a student.
“They [the student] might say ‘I know where your car is’ or ‘I know your daughter is in year one’. Then it’s time to call in a second teacher for support and evacuate the classroom,” she said.
It's understood one primary school in particular has had multiple cases of teachers being bitten and hit by children this year alone.
The training recommends teachers block punches and move out of the way if a student tries to grab hold of them or strike the teacher and also recommends the teacher "restrict student's liberty of movement" using grappling techniques with increasing pressure if the student is intent on assault or self-harm.
CPI Country Manager Peter Hickey said the holds aren't intended to be painful.
“The use of restraint is frowned on but sometimes it’s necessary if the child is looking to self-harm or is a threat to their teacher or other children,” Mr Hickey said.
He said “most (public) schools have had our training”.
Newsbreak - July 9