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Standards have dropped

February 24th, 2006 at 03:35pm

It was only a few years ago that I was a student at Campbell High School, and I clearly remember the annual tradition of excursions to the Civic Pool during P.E. classes.

These were organised in an unusual manner, which involved walking to the pool and back from the high school. There was a small level of order to this odd excursion, there were three teachers, one leading the pack, one in the middle and one at the rear attempting to speed up the dawdlers. All students had to cross at the traffic lights on Limestone Avenue outside the high school, walk down a particular side of Coranderrk St to the Constitution Avenue traffic lights, cross at the lights, walk to the pedestrian crossing next to the convention centre and cross over to the swimming pool. This was quite naturally reversed on the way back.

Today on my way into the CIT Reid Campus around 11:30am I spotted one of these drawn out excursion groups, unfortunately there seemed to be much less order to this lot than any time during my high school years. Firstly, there was no visible teacher presence, this could be explained by the general demographic of P.E. teachers being fairly young, and often fresh out of university. Generally they do look a bit older than the students and look mildly authoritative.

Unfortunately there was no such presence in this group and it showed. Road crossings were amazingly disorganised and dangerous. Coranderrk and Ballumbir Streets intersect in a Y shape, with Ballumbir merging with Coranderrk to form a new length of Coranderrk. Naturally, this is where the group decided to cross, seemingly running across the road and dodging cars. If this move was initiated by a leading teacher then I am very concerned about the example they are imparting on their young and impressionable students. Even worse still, no teacher attempted to stop this from happening.

Following this bizarre and dangerous road crossing, many students seemingly disappeared into Glebe Park and the surrounding walkways, and headed in the general direction of Civic. Admittedly a roll call at the pool would have picked up these truants, but it is still unacceptable that this could happen so easily.

It would appear that Campbell High School’s P.E. teachers have forgotten their duty of care, and need to be reminded of school policies in relation to excursions. If an accident had occurred, which it nearly did, the consequences and negative publicity would have made them wake up. None the less, prevention is better than cure, and I will be sending a copy of this article to Campbell High School as a courtesy to allow them to review policies, and take the appropriate action to help ensure the safety of their students.

I’m certain that somebody will now tell me that high school students should be capable of crossing the road safely, and I agree, they should, but peer pressure and general teenage silliness does get in the way of clear judgements from time to time, and it is the job of the supervising teachers to keep this to a minimum.

Whilst Campbell High is my old high school, I am not picking on them simply because I used to go there. In this case I am able to draw on my experiences there and make a comparison, however I would be equally critical of any school that allowed such behaviour.


Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories,General News,Lunacy/Idiots,Samuel's Editorials

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  • 1. Kooky_Pound_Puppy  |  February 24th, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Sam i to have noticed schools are not the institutions they used to be

  • 2. Samuel  |  February 24th, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    I’ll print this out on Monday morning so that I can mail it to Campbell High School. If you have any comments for them, please leave them before 7am Canberra time (GMT+11) on Monday.

  • 3. Samuel  |  February 24th, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    I also welcome comments from Campbell High staff and students, this would be a good time to get your point across to the Campbell administration.

  • 4. heatseeker  |  February 24th, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    School kids nowadays are just out of control … my Samantha has more road sense.

  • 5. Kooky_Pound_Puppy  |  February 24th, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Heatseeker who is your Samantha?, or should i say what is your Samantha?

  • 6. cunninglinguist  |  February 24th, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Is Samantha your axolotl, heatseeker?

  • 7. Samuel  |  February 24th, 2006 at 9:01 pm

    I would suggest that Samantha is either a child or a pet.

  • 8. Kooky_Pound_Puppy  |  February 24th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    Tell us Heatseeker i want to know wht your Samantha is
    a duck dog bird fish cat?????????/

  • 9. John B1_B5  |  February 24th, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    I remember when I went on a school excursion from a State school in Brisbane to Toowoomba and the Glass House Mountains .
    Our bus driver was a Mister Lister (now deceased) . The teacher was a Miss Armstrong, who used to have a habit of hurling blackboard dusters at students in class …… Probably not very ‘politically correct’ to do that these days. She was quite friendly (for a change ) during the excursion .

    Anyway, Miss Armstrong married a teacher from the same school and became Mrs. Parmenter .
    Mr.Parmenter was an interesting character in that he would watch a fight in the schoolyard from a second floor window, rather than go down and break it up . ( I guess he wanted to see who won ).
    I never heard any more of about the Parmenters, because I moved on to High School just before they got married. — I occassionally wonder whether Mr. Parmenter is still alive, but that’s highly unlikely, given that he wasn’t exactly young way back then .

    We also went on another school excursion — but that was just a Tram ride into Brisbane city to have a look at City Hall !

  • 10. heatseeker  |  February 25th, 2006 at 1:07 am

    KPP, Samuel, Samantha is a child and a pet … my darling terrier, and I saved her from the pound, so I supose she’s a Kooky Pound Puppy!

  • 11. Chuck Berry  |  February 25th, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    In my day, we had to ride in a designated section on a bus. When we walked from the cotton fields to the local swimming hole, we were chained together. As soon as a student called Rosa Parks decided to pull a stunt and sit in the normal persons section of the bus and caused a major nation wide drama, standards started to slip.

  • 12. cunninglinguist  |  February 25th, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Chuck, did you whip out your mobile (or whatever you had back then) and call your talkback radio station? We can’t have these people getting above themselves.

  • 13. Chuck Berry  |  February 25th, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Cunninglinguist. If we spoke at all back in the days when everything was black and white, we would have found ourselves hanging from the local light pole. Further, like Wayne Mac and Samuel said in Persiflage episode 2, talkback was not around then.


February 2006

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