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Mornington Island State School: Terrified teachers issued with panic alarms for their homes as youth crime spirals out of control in remote Queensland community

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Terrified teachers have been given panic alarms for their homes after youth crime spiralled out of control in a remote far north Queensland community.

Twelve teachers at the Mornington Island State School – located 679km north-west of Cairns – have been issued with duress alarms and had heat sensors installed in their homes for their protection.

A teacher was reportedly hit by a student holding a cricket bat, rocks were allegedly thrown at the principal, a student allegedly ‘threw a piece of timber like a spear’ and homes have allegedly been broken into.

There have been ‘unprecedented levels of violence’ and teachers have been encouraged to sleep with the panic alarms beside their beds, one teacher told the Cairns Post.

‘We have category one fences now around our houses but many of the kids can climb over them,’ the teacher said.

Terrified teachers have been given panic alarms for their homes after youth crime spiralled out of control in a remote far north Queensland community (stock image)

Terrified teachers have been given panic alarms for their homes after youth crime spiralled out of control in a remote far north Queensland community (stock image)

Twelve teachers at the Mornington Island State School (pictured) have been issued with duress alarms and had heat sensors installed in their homes for their protection

Twelve teachers at the Mornington Island State School (pictured) have been issued with duress alarms and had heat sensors installed in their homes for their protection

There are 12 teachers at the school but the school has 206 students and is supposed to have 20 full-time teachers.

Eight other teaching posts have gone unfilled. 

In March, a teacher said a student threatened to ‘bash them with two metal poles’, while a teacher complained on social media about being hit on the leg with a cricket bat.

Earlier this month, there were incidents of teachers being called ‘gay c***’ and ‘c*** sucker’.

On May 1, Queensland’s Education Minister Di Farmer said a program called Flexispaces – designed to help at-risk students – would provide $600,000 in funding to Mornington Island State School.

‘FlexiSpaces are such a great tool to help schools respond to students who are experiencing challenges in a mainstream educational environment,’ Ms Farmer said when she launched the $45million program, which will be spread across 34 schools. 

But there are grave fears it will make no difference in Mornington Island as teachers don’t even want to go there, with one new teacher lasting just 10 days at the start of the 2024 school year. 

One teacher said the town lived with ‘third world conditions’ and has not had drinkable water for months.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Queensland Department of Education with a series of questions.  

A teacher at Mornington Island State School (pictured) was reportedly hit by a student holding a cricket bat

A teacher at Mornington Island State School (pictured) was reportedly hit by a student holding a cricket bat



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