Queensland’s education minister has used an address in parliament to accuse parents of cyberbulling a principal who banned cartwheels and handstands.
Queensland’s education minister has accused parents of bullying a principal for banning handstands and cartwheels at a Sunshine Coast school.
John-Paul Langbroek has expressed disgust at the actions of some parents, who he says have been part of a malicious social media campaign against Peregian Springs State School principal Gwen Sands.
Ms Sands banned students from doing handstands and cartwheels unless they were supervised after two children were injured, but the minister say she’s paid a heavy price.
“Do we now need to start a campaign to protect our teachers and principals from the very people who should know better? The parents of the children entrusted to their care?” Mr Langbroek said.
“These are the same parents who are quick to identify and expect protection from the childhood bullies in their offsprings’ classrooms …”
He said Ms Sands had imposed the ban after a group of students, who’d been learning gymnastic cheerleading out of school, decided to apply their new skills in a largely concrete playground. One broke a limb, the other suffered facial injuries.
“The school opted for safety first … but what a response this triggered,” he said.
“Gwen Sands was held up to ridicule by the media, pilloried internationally as a perpetrator of crimes against children and derided as the worst of the nanny state officials.
“But most hurtful were the cowardly cyberattacks launched via Facebook and Twitter, many from parents of the students in her care.”
He said he’d spoken to Ms Sands to tell her she had his unqualified support.