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article image60-year-old teacher stabbed by student

By Kimberley Pollock     Mar 22, 2011 in World
Darwin - Yesterday a relief teacher at the Nightcliffe Middle School in Darwin, Australia was allegedly punched and stabbed a number of times by a 14-year-old student.
After the incident the school immediately suspended the 14-year-old student and the 60=year-old teacher, Michael Bell, was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital for treatment at about midday.
Police say a boy retrieved a knife out of his bag and when the teacher tried to take the weapon off him, he stabbed the teacher in the arm and leg, reports the ABC. "I can indicate that the male school teacher sustained seven stitches to his left elbow and stitches in his left leg as a result of that stabbing incident," Northern Watch Commander Erica Simms said.
According to a Herald Sun report, sources from the school say the teacher and student had a heated altercation before the student retrieved a knife and stabbed the teacher. The sources also say the student had a history of violent behaviour and had smashed windows and thrown chairs around the classroom previously. One concerned parent said in the report, "It all happened pretty much in front of their faces ... The kid was attempting to stab the teacher in the stomach but got him in the arm instead."
The Education Union has used the incident to raise concerns about teacher safety in the Northern Territory. "We have had some preliminary information that the student involved in this altercation did have some behavioural issues and his conduct in the past had been of concern to both teachers and the school community," the union's Matthew Cranitch said in the ABC report.
The Police say that at this point the teacher has not laid any charges.
Neither the school or the Northern Territory Government would talk to the media about the incident. They have indicated they will not comment on the stabbing until the police investigations are concluded.
The Opposition's education spokesman, Peter Chandler, has called for the the boy to be appropriately charged and held accountable for his actions, reports the ABC. Chandler said, "We have to set these boundaries and this child needs to face the full consequences of what those boundaries are, because if we don't we are sending the wrong message to the community."
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