A MOTHER with a profoundly deaf son has taken to protesting outside Glencoe Primary School in her bid to get him suitably educated.
Myra Smithers said her son Mitchell (11) had previously gone to the local primary school but claims he was bullied relentlessly for the past three years. She claims Mitchell was hit, punched, intimidated, and threatened with knives and bats.
This year, Mitchell has a place at the WA Institute for Deaf Education at Mosman Park, but the wait for public housing in the vicinity could take years.
Ms Smithers said it would be too far for Mitchell to travel from Mandurah.
She said she would not send her son back to Glencoe or other local schools.
“I am not going into mainstream (schooling) to be treated like a second-class citizen,” she said.
She said home schooling was not an option because she was not a teacher.
In a bid to find a resolution, Ms Smithers and Mitchell set up chairs and a table outside Glencoe Primary School on Friday, and threatened to protest all this week.
Ms Smithers claims she was abused by a parent on Monday, and police attended.
Kahu Herlihy said her sister Nikita (11) was now the target of the bullies. A mother, Nina, said she removed her two sons from the school last year, claiming her eldest son was bashed and bullied.
Department of Education South Metropolitan Regional executive director Margaret Collins said there was an independent investigation into bullying claims at the school last year.
“This had found some evidence of bullying actions, for example, name calling and intimidating behaviour by some students, most of which occurred in the community rather than at school,” she said.
“I am disappointed that any bullying occurred, and we have put in place extensive measures to enhance behaviour at the school and to provide support for Mitchell.
“This has included two specialist behavioural psychologists working with school staff to enhance its behaviour programs for all students.”
Ms Collins said the department had been working to provide support for Mitchell.
“This has included providing a full-time education assistant to support him one-on-one in the classroom and in the school yard, and arranging for a teacher from the WA Institute of Deaf Education to visit him at least once a week,” she said.
Ms Collins said Ms Smithers has been made an offer for work packages to be mailed home, for Mitchell to be escorted from his home to the Mosman Park deaf education school bus, or for help with enrolling Mitchell in another local school.