A mother who used Facebook to disgrace teachers at her children’s school has been banned from setting foot on the school grounds for 12 months.
The woman went public with serious allegations – now under police investigation – against a teacher at the school south of Wollongong.
She accused the teacher of physically assaulting three children in separate incidents and claimed the principal had lied about the abuse.
School authorities have invoked a 115-year-old statute – the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 – to keep the parent away from the school.
“Your behaviour on this occasion was inappropriate,” the school’s relieving principal told the parent, in a June 2 letter.
“And as a result I do not consider your current access to [the school] to be in the best interests of either the students or the staff.
“You should note that entry on to the school is a privilege not a right.
“In accordance with my authority under the [act], you are directed not to come onto [the school] site again without my prior approval and then only for the purpose of seeing me. This directive is to remain in force for a period of 12 months.”
The mother has told Illawarra Mercury, “I’ve yelled, I’ve screamed, I’ve made phone calls and – as a last resort – this is what I’ve done,” the parent said, of her social media posts.
“All I’ve heard is, ‘You’ve probably ruined the school’s reputation.’ What reputation? The [reputation acquired] because they keep everything in the dark?
“The reason I named this teacher was because I knew it wasn’t the first time.”
A Department of Education and Training spokeswoman said the school was consulting police about the matter. Schools issued Inclosed Land Protection notices in order to keep students and staff safe, she said.
“[A notice] is generally served when an individual commits an act of violence towards others, threatens violence, or is verbally abusive to staff, students or other community members on school grounds,” the spokeswoman said.
The act forbids people from entering an enclosed area “without the consent of the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of those lands”. It guards against the leaving open of gates.
Today, the act is referenced in signs on school entryways and is used, on occasion, to deter parents considered troublesome.
Police can be called for any infringements, which attract a $500 fine.
“It’s a form of trespass,” Lake Illawarra Local Area Command’s Sergeant Jason Harrison said.
“It’s a formal way of restricting access to someone, putting them on notice that they no longer have a legal right to enter that property.”
The mother has since deleted her Facebook posts.
Ohh Facebook is an evil little platform at times.
Share your comments below