Girls plotted to kill classmate with poison drink
A SCHOOLGIRLS' poison murder plot has been revealed in a dossier detailing horrific violence in Victoria's schools.
According to documents released under Freedom of Information, two students stole chemicals from their school and planned to poison another pupil by spiking a drink bottle.
The plot is among cases of shocking violence in Victoria's public schools. Attacks on students have risen by 36 per cent in a single year.
In 2017, 229 incidents involving weapons - including guns, knives, scissors, Tasers, screwdrivers, an axe, rocks, chairs and even pencils - were reported, 68 of them against school staff and 161 against students.
Reported incidents of assault and aggressive behaviour have included knives being held to throats of pupils and staff. Several students even reported being threatened with guns on school grounds.
Last March, the murder plot by two female students believed to have been in the early years of high school was foiled when staff found chemicals in the locker of one of the pupils.
A document shows the assistant principal reported on April 24 that the students planned to "put (the stolen chemicals) into the drink bottle ... with the intent to kill".
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said an incident at a northern suburbs school was investigated last March, but the target, also a female, did not proceed with a complaint.
It is understood that the school investigated, two pupils were suspended, and support for the intended victim was arranged. It is unclear whether the suspended pupils returned, or whether the target of the plot still attends the school.
The Herald Sun can reveal reported incidents at government schools in 2017 included:
ALMOST 50 threats with knives and scissors. There were five stabbings and six cases of weapons being held to the throats of staff and pupils.
TWO cases in which pupils said they were threatened with guns on school grounds. One involved an ex-pupil and the other a motorist whose vehicle was pelted with rocks.
AN axe being swung at staff who confiscated a butterfly knife from a student.
THE purchase of a fishing knife from Kmart by a pupil who then gave it to another pupil "for protection".
THREATS being made on Facebook, leading a student to bring a screwdriver to school.
THE purchase of three knives during school hours by a pupil who then returned to school with them.
TASERS turning up at schools. In one case. someone was attacked.
A STABBING with a pencil by one pupil of another, after a fight over it.
More than 1500 incidents of assault and aggression against pupils were reported in public schools last year - 399 more than the year before. Of these, 204 involved police - almost one per school day.
From 2015 to 2017, violence against pupils rose 124 per cent. Attacks on teachers rose less than 1 per cent in a year. Police were called to fewer incidents against staff than the year before.
Opposition education spokesman Tim Smith said the reports would "keep parents awake at night worrying about how unsafe our schools are becoming".
"It is absolutely unacceptable that (Premier) Daniel Andrews is hiding this information. That's why we need to get back to basics with school education, with a focus on literacy and numeracy and better discipline," he said.
Minister for Education James Merlino said new stringent reporting requirements had led to more reports.