Pyrmont Stabbing And Reflection On School Violence During My High School Years

The recent Pyrmont Stabbing by a number of school students on a stranger caught a lot of media attention. I will not go into detail on the case, anyone interested in that can search it up themself.

I will just go over my personal experience at high school in Sydney. I went to an average middle of the road none selective government high school. I personally had a good time and made a lot of good friends. Violence in the school itself is very rare and I don’t remember withness any serious fights myself.

I have known people in year higher than me got into a tussle with someone and gathered his friends from outside the school they had for a fight near the station. The guy got expelled for this afterwards. I have also heard stories of people got robbed of their shoes, yes you heard it right, never seen it myself.

A guy from Taiwan likes to carry a butterfly knife around the school, he eventually got into trouble for something else not for fighting and transferred out of the school.

Things got more serious in the later years, there are two groups in my school one got Lebanese and another Vietnamese background. They do not get along at all, but I never heard any fights or such. Until one-day crap hits the fan, before the school in a shop the two groups got into a fight, one of the guy from Vietnamese group pulled a knife and stabbed one from another group in the stomach. He survived, but I never saw him in the school again.

However, I want to convey my high school life was pretty uneventful and I never felt unsafe or anything of the such. I do hear stories of some schools can be pretty wild, a particular teacher got threw out of the window, a student trying to run over a teacher with a bike etc. Primary school teacher is a very popular profession with demand far outstrips position available. It is much easier to secure a high school teaching position, I think precisely because primary school students are much easier to deal with. Not easy being a high school teacher in Australia and I have a lot of respect for them.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Stage 4 Lock Down For Victoria – 2nd of August 2020

Following weeks of climbing Covid-19 infection rate in the Victoria over the last few weeks despite the implementation of stage 3 lockdown means harsher restrictions have been implemented. There are measures such as 5km movement limit from home, nightly curfew etc. From coming Wednesday all Victorian students will be on remote learning, this including both metropolitan and regional area. Schools will still open for children of essential works or special needs etc. Currently, year 11 and 12 students in Victoria metropolitan area which essentially is the greater Melbourne will shift from face to face teaching to remote learning as well.

With announced six-week stage 4 lockdown, the entire Victorian school term 3 will pretty much be conducted remotely. In NSW, my children’s school still do not perform any assemblies and all excursions, camps etc are cancelled as well. Parents are not allowed on the school ground as well.

Australia wide there are a total of 17895 confirmed infections today and an increase of 687 which is equivalent to 3.99% from yesterday. Victoria counted 97.67% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – More NSW Schools Suffer Temp Closure – 1st of August 2020

School closure due to Covid-19 virus is so regular now, people just seem to take it as it comes. Four more schools in NSW suffered a temp closure last week.

Fort Street High School
Freeman Catholic College
Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School
EverLearn Preschool

The case of Fort Street High School is particularly interesting, the school was closed on Thursday due to possible Covid-19 case which test result turned out to be negative.

This is with a fairly low daily case level of around 20 in the NSW and if this jumps up more, the situation deteriorates very quickly resulting in a large number of school closures. It is a good demonstration of suppression strategy is not really sustainable and will cause massive disruption to the school educations. Given that we are on a large island, it is viable to try and eliminate the virus and keep a tight quarantine to wait for the development of the vaccine.

Australia wide there are a total of 17282 confirmed infections today and an increase of 417 which is equivalent to 2.47% from yesterday. Victoria counted 95.20% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia. The cases are keep popping up everywhere in Sydney and Queensland already closed its border to residents of greater Sydney. It really will not take much for this to get really out of hand very quickly.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – More NSW Schools Closed For Cleaning – 25th of July 2020

Three more NSW schools in Western Sydney was closed on Friday after multiple students were tested positive for Covid-19. The schools in question are as follows.

  • Cerdon College
  • Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School
  • Freeman Catholic College

The schools are expected to reopen by middle of the next week. This sort of things has been happening fair frequently in the last few weeks in Australia. While in isolation the short school closures are not a big deal, however if we cannot eliminate this virus, we will have more and more frequent occurance of this and it is simply not sustanable in the long run.

We have similar geographic set up as New Zealand and if they can do it, we can eliminate the virus as well get our schools back to normal again. Rather than stuck in the current cycle of suppression, reopen and suppression again, it is better to bite the bullet and go for the elimination. There is an assumption by Federal and some state governments that complete elimination of the Covid-19 is not possible. We need to have some political courage and take the hard road to get Australia back to normal as soon as possible.

Australia wide there are a total of 13950 confirmed infections today and an increase of 374 which is equivalent to 2.75% from yesterday. Victoria counted 95.45% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia. With the number of people on the street in Sydney, I do not think the suppression strategy will work for NSW. Eventually, we may have to bite the bullet and go for a hard lockdown like NZ went through.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – NSW Schools Start Term 3 – 21st of July 2020

NSW schools started their term 3 today and my kids are both back to school now. Unfortunately with the surging growth of Covid-19 community infections in NSW, this may change very soon. The speed of infection currently spreading, unless we going into lockdown, there is a good chance that NSW schools will have to go back to remote learning again anyway.

Australia wide there are a total of 12428 confirmed infections today and an increase of 387 which is equivalent to 3.21% from yesterday. Victoria counted 96.64% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia. Infections look like to be exploding in NSW as well, so it is likely we are heading towards the second wave is happening in Australia as well. I personally believe suppression is not a viable strategy and elimination then the vaccine is the only viable way forward from this point on.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Victorian School Holiday Extended – 9th of July 2020

With the entire state of Victoria going back into stage 3 lockdown, winter holiday for metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire schools has also been extended for one more week and reopen on 20th of July for students from prep to year 10. It is very likely that many of the Victorian schools will go back to remote learning again after school restarts.

Regional schools will go back to face to face learning next week as previously planned. Private and Catholic schools are expected to follow this as well.

In case you are not aware of, Al-Taqwa College in western Melbourne suffered the biggest school related outbreak of Coronavirus so far in Australia with over 90 infections traced back to school in question.

With the way things are going, it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Australia wide there are a total of 8870 confirmed infections today and an increase of 182 which is equivalent to 2.09% from yesterday. Victoria counted 90.66% of the total Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Second Wave In Victoria – 2nd of July 2020

Victoria has suffered a string of school closure in the last two weeks including human to human transmission within the school. Right now Victorian schools are on their winter holiday which goes from 27th of June to the 12th of July. Currently, there are discussions happening on whether schools within the specific lockdown suburbs will reopen on term three or not.

Victoria also suffering from very significant community transmissions and the next two to three weeks will largely determine which direction this will go.

Australia wide there are a total of 8001 confirmed infections today and an increase of 86 which is equivalent to 1.09% from yesterday. Victoria counted 89.53% of the total Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Chatswood Public and High School Upgrade

Anybody who has been to the Chatswood Public and High School recently can easily notice how cramped they are and facilities are very dated as well. Chatswood also has been a massive building boom recently, the multiple new high rise residential towers are the best proves of this. The upgrade plan has passed the planning and currently in the design stage.

Quoting the NSW school infrastructure website

  • More than 150 new and refurbished teaching spaces from Kindergarten to Year 12.
  • Increased quality active play space currently allocated to both schools.
  • Specialist teaching facilities such as maths, science and art rooms.
  • Dedicated performing arts spaces and music rooms at the high school.
  • New sports facilities and recreational areas.
  • New libraries and administration facilities.

You can find the detailed upgrade plan with the following link.

Chatswood Public and High School Upgrade Plan

The current demountable buildings on the site of Chatswood High School used by Chatswood Public School will continue used as it is. Forecasted completion date will be in late 2023.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Second Wave? – 16th of June 2020

All students in every states are fully back into school now. With this it also brings back the risk of new Coronavirus infections.

Following are just some of the schools that are closed recently due to positive Coronavirus infections.

Victoria

  • St Dominic’s School in Broadmeadows
  • Pakenham Springs Primary School
  • Strathmore Primary School

NSW

  • Laguna Street Public School
  • Rose Bay Public School

With more school related restrictions and general public social restrictions all being relaxed. It certainly heightens the chance and risk of second wave of Coronavirus. Given that it is impossible for Australia to completely close its border until the vaccine is available the risky of second wave will always be here.

Australia wide there are a total of 7347 confirmed infections today and an increase of 12 which is equivalent to 0.16% from yesterday. All states other than NSW and Vic basically got zero infection for very extended period now.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – More School Restrictions Relaxed – 15th of June 2020

NSW schools have more restrictions relaxed, assemblies are back on now again. School bands are also back on again instead of the zoom practice for the last few weeks. Other than schools still bane parents inside the school itself, just about everything school wise are close to back to normal now. There are definitely some behaviour changes, most of the parents are waiting outside the school for the pickup and keeping a good distance between each other.

I have not heard anything about excursion and camps yet. They will probably be back on from next term.

Australia wide there are a total of 7335 confirmed infections today and an increase of 15 which is equivalent to 0.20% from yesterday. It appears other than NSW and Victoria, all other states had pretty much achieved total suppression. NSW had a few cases of community transmission cases poped up recently which is very concerning. My day to day life is more or less back to normal other than my wife and I still working from home still. We are still planning going on holiday in July and fingers crossed everything will still stay under control.

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