Section 84 Construction Photos Editorial Echoes: Thanks for the support

Campbell High School’s PE Classes Mend Their Ways

March 17th, 2006 at 04:05pm

You may recall this post from nearly a month ago where I informed you of the unsafe manner in which Campbell High School‘s PE Classes were travelling to (and presumably from) the Civic Pool, with minimal, if any, teacher supervision and direction. As promised I sent a letter to the principal of Campbell High School, but I never received a reply.

None the less, the letter was received by the principal of Campbell High and once can only assume that meetings/directives ensued, as I was most pleased to see a Campbell High School PE Group heading back to Campbell High School from the pool in an orderly manner with clear teacher supervision and direction. This was this morning at about 11 o’clock as I was crossing the bridge over Coranderrk Street. I was very impressed to see the school group also utilising the bridge, and I gave the leading teacher an approving smile and “hello” as she passed. I also gave the teacher at the back of the group a smile, but he was focussing on the group and did not see me, which is fine as he was carrying out his job and fulfilling his duty of care.

Whenever possible I like to follow up my editorials where I raise concerns about issues to see if anything has changed, and if so I like to bring you the news, which is hopefully positive. I can assure you that I will be sending the principal of Campbell High School a very complimentary letter, thanking her for taking my concerns into account, and seeing that they were rectified. I am very pleased at this outcome, and am glad to see the public school system taking public concerns into account.

Well done Campbell High School!


Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories,Samuel's Editorials

Print This Post Print This Post


  • 1. Chuck A. Spear  |  March 17th, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    Campbell High School…ATTENTION!










    (Samuel watching procession from bridge)















  • 2. Martin J. Singer  |  March 18th, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    Dear Mr. Samuel. It is my belief that your request to have, what I would deem, ‘above-and-beyond’ supervision for the students of Campbell High School is the sort of actions that put a strain on local and state/territory government budgets. The administrations are already stretched to their maximum output in terms of funding to schools, pay-role of teachers and the insurance of those employed and taken care off. If you wish that the students, who, no doubt, had their parents sign permission slips for the course of action that occurred prior to your meddling, be totally responsible to the teachers and not to their actions outside of the school boundaries, then perhaps it is your belief that when the student goes home and fails to execute correctly a skill or practise that they had prior learnt to school, such as respect and responsibility, then the teacher is held accountable for this as well. Far be it for the students, who are in fact children of one family or another, be taught by the parents how to respect themselves, authority figures in the community or the society in which they live. It is yet another testament to the left-wing society members that the “don’t blame the children, blame the administration” thought of mind fosters. It is deplorable that people think that children should have to be kept in line by teachers instead of restraining themselves, showing some respect to the community and treating themselves as maturing persons. If anyone is to blame it is the parents. They obviously have no hold over their children, have allowed them to grow up in a manner which brings disgrace to the world and have grown up in the left-wing politics to allow this to happen. And of course, next time these children are out of line, are committing vandalism, doing drugs, committing crimes of a heinous nature and murdering, of course, it must have been the teachers or the administration that let these poor saps fall through the cracks. What a crock.


  • 3. Samuel  |  March 18th, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    I do not endorse the “blame the administration” approach taken by many, and I don’t think that my request that an under supervised and out of control school group was wrong.

    I agree that the students should be able to be responsible when left to their own devices, but the fact of the matter is that they weren’t. I’m not suggesting that they should all have to walk in two lines and hold hands like a junior primary school group, just that they should be moderately regulated by, at the very least, a teacher at the front and a teacher at the back of the group.

    It isn’t unreasonable to expect that a high school group (which in the ACT is years 7-10) be supervised by teachers, and when I was in high school (2000-2003) all of these pool excursions were supervised and closely monitored.

    In most cases the students are responsible and behave, on occasion a small minority cause problems, and that is what the supervising teachers are there to deal with. If the students are responsible, then the teachers are merely tagging along for the walk, to a destination where they have to teach the students they are walking with. The teachers are already being paid to do this, it is not costing the school or the government any more than it would if the teachers drove to the pool to run the classes while the students walked (although you could argue that the teachers could claim the costs of driving to the pool in tax).

    Martin, I agree with your sentiments about “If anyone is to blame it is the parents. They obviously have no hold over their children”, and I think many parents should have more control over their children, but unless the permission note or ACT high school policy changes, the parents are entitled to send their children to a high school which supervises excursions.

    Under current laws and regulations, the teachers have a duty of care to the students, and would have been in a lot of trouble if one of the students crossing the road in a dangerous location had been hit by a car because they did not tell them not to cross there. The important thing to remember here is that these pool excursions are not your average one off excursion, they are actually the component of many P.E. classes during summer and early autumn.

    As a side note, inter-school sport/artisitic (for lack of a better description) activities which involve multiple schools and take up full days, do require students to find their own way to the venue. These things happen to have permission forms which are about five times as long as the standard excursion forms, and require much less teacher responsibility. Perhaps this model of excursion should be used for more excursions. The problem is “where do we draw the line?”

    Years 11 and 12 in the ACT are called “college”, and virtually treat students as responsible adults. There are a few permission notes for a couple things, but in general, students are responsible for their own actions. This system seems to work well.

  • 4. Martin J. Singer  |  March 18th, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    Sure, it isn’t unreasonable to expect a group of students to be supervised by a teacher. On the contrary, I believe the students need the supervision of a single teacher only. I believe that it isn’t unreasonable to expect a group of HIGH SCHOOL students to act responsibly, self-assuredly and with integrity to warrent only one teacher there. Regardless of how many students are there, a single teacher should be the only supervisor there. Asking for two for ever 60 (as you said classes) or more. What happens if an entire grade is taken to the pool? Should one expect that there be four, six, eight teachers supervising double and then some amount of students? I think not, Having excessive supervision by teachers, trained and qualified teachers, is, in all reality, disadvantaging those students who require a teacher to learn. On the assumption that a mere two classes are taken out, it is a guarentee that there are those students that find learning somewhat more difficult than others, and as a result, require more attention. What a perfect opportunity when the rest of the class is gone, a teacher could have a more interactive session with the “lacking” student in order to aid their EDUCATION, not facilitating the social learning of children who have been “forgotten” by their failing parents.

    By LAW, a teacher has NO duty of care for a student outside of the school during school hours, regardless. The permission slip that a parent signs is, effectively, saying that I give permission for my child to act as a CIVILIAN outside of school and that I acknowledge that the responsibility of my child falls square on me. The teacher is no more responsible that the dog across the street. However, if something was to happen to a student, the fact that the society we live in is trigger happy with a lawsuit, no doubt parents and lawyers would sue the Education Department. This would, in turn, send the premiums of the insurance UP for the Education Department, and thus cut into valuable funding for the student’s educations. This all comes about because of having MORE teachers socially thought to be responsible for the students. If five teachers are brought into questioning from the same school no, doubt the insurance companies would enjoy charging more for each teacher that was laible, not for the case as a whole. I know, I did an intern at the law firm that represents the NSW Education Department, and every day there was something new to defend against.

    What parents seem to fail to understand these days is that by not owning up to the responsibilities of being a parent does not excuse you from anytihng. If anything, it detracts from your own child’s education, and the education of another student. Bringing the point back to what you said Mr. Samuel, if a student had crossed the road and got hit, the teacher is not responsible, but the PARENT for not having reinforced the point that if a human comes up against a car, a car WILL win. Children are hardly society-ready during the years of 7-10, but common sense is present, and if they choose to cross the road, it is absolutely stupid if anyone believes that the teachers were responsible. Parents should understand this and TRAIN their children to be more socially apt in the world, because if they didn’t, people wouldn’t be saying “more teachers need to supervise the students because they don’t know how to behave”.


  • 5. Chuck A. Spear  |  March 18th, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Welcome Martin. Can you please pass me the crack pipe… I think you should read Wonko’s post regarding the use of capital letters, spelling and grammer. On the internet the use of capital letters can be seen as aggressive; it is considered shouting. Perhaps the use of italics would better make your point. Don’t worry, with the help of others on this blog, my spelling and grammer has improved to an acceptable standard.

    However, I can’t help you with the cognitive process of your brain, if in fact you have one. I understand the basis of your arguement, however, you are complicating the issue by making it political. Perhaps there are better forums for you to use as a soap box. The web is a vast and wonderful place. Good luck in your endevour.

  • 6. Martin J. Singer  |  March 18th, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    Well congratulations sir. You have managed to convey the sense of an eight year old. You see, sarcasm and exaggeration, combined with your apparent smugness, are hardly a way to refute valid points. You see, regardless of what they taught you in remedial biology, the human body cannot, let me repeat that for you, CANNOT function at all. Now, unfortunately for yourself, you can see that I am quite able to perform a complicated cognitive process, as you call my own argument complicated, for some reason, even though I wrote it out to something that my own peers would understand. But, alas, you are obviously not of my calibre, or many people’s for you believe a human body can function without a brain. Poor boy.

    Now, if you had done any regular and forum public speaking you would understand that emphasis on a point can come in two folds: firstly, the tone of the voice, whereby stretching on the vowels, creates a delay in the reception to the brain, and as such, a lapse in the processing of such input creates various effects on people. Secondly, there is volume emphasis on, yes, single words. If I am indeed using this place as a platform, a soap box as you put it yourself, then I have every right to type in the TONE I want to. You see, I just “said” (said in the sense of typed) tone louder, with a different emphasis than if I had italicised it.

    Now, as for you blatant and absurd attack on me and my character, in an extremely childish manner, I would just like to reassure you that, no, this was not a person attack on your hero here, it was me making a valid point and seeing how this public figure answer it. But production and distributing his own ‘pod-cast’, he is, now, susceptible to the public opinion and eye. I am a member of the public, and I happened to disagree with one aspect of what he said. I live in Australia, we have freedom of speech. I can say something in the public domain (this being the public domain at the present point in time) and have it either answered, with someone else’s opinion, or can have the recipient of my questions and statements stay mute. Both are acceptable, but if one is going to rebut their position, then do so with the support of FACTS and proofs. You were entitled to your own opinion, however, the fact that your belief that the human body functions without a brain and that I should be restrained as to where I speak, a violation of my civil rights, null and voids your own statements there. Good luck to you as well. If you need any more help trying to refute some body’s point, please, don’t be afraid to ask me.

  • 7. Martin J. Singer  |  March 18th, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Apologies, I believe I forgot something, which also emphasises my point of me having a brain:

    let me repeat that for you, CANNOT function at all *without a brain*.


  • 8. Chuck A. Spear  |  March 18th, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    Martin. A valid point you have made. I was not sticking up for Samuel, he is quite capable of doing that himself. You are obviously not familiar with the film ‘Day of the Dead’. This film shows categorically that the human body can function with out a brain. Further, the film “Re-Animator’ highlights also that body parts can function with a brain. Have you ever chopped the head off a chicken? I am not saying that you are a chicken, however, in 1947 a chicken lived for six weeks without a head.

    In regards to your most recent post (7), it does not make sense. Ergo methinks thou dost not posses a brain.

    I rest my case.

  • 9. Martin J. Singer  |  March 18th, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    I am familiar with the case where a chicken did in fact live for a substantial amount of time. However, not once did I mention a chicken. The fact that you bring up irrelevant points to back your futile case is just testament to your own short-falls. But, to further my case against you, the case with the chicken had scientific intervention, that is, feeding tubes and artificial pumps to continue blood flow. Just to make a point clear, in case you don’t believe me, there are arteries, in terms you will understand, tubes that moves ‘fresh’ blood around the body. There are very large arteries that pump blood to the brain of ALL animals. Now, if you choose to believe that this chicken roamed a farm with no scientific aid, then please feel free to explain how this chicken did not bleed to death.

    Also, allow me to give you an accurate definition of what fiction is:

    Fiction is the term used to describe works of the imagination. This is in contrast to non-fiction, which makes factual claims about reality. A large part of the appeal of fiction is its ability to evoke the entire spectrum of human emotions: to distract our minds, to give us hope in times of despair, to make us laugh, or to let us experience empathy without attachment. (Source:

    I am sorry to burst the bubble you live in, but unfortunately the movies you referenced did not actually happen in the sense that the events are historic. They are works of fiction. A fictitious film can never show categorically anything other than viewer-response. In a film there is neither ideal testing conditions, nor testing conditions at all. There are actors and there are props.

    And if you fail to understand my second most recent post, then you truly are inept at reading and your own complex cognitive processing.

  • 10. Samuel  |  March 18th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    By LAW, a teacher has NO duty of care for a student outside of the school during school hours

    That certainly isn’t what the teachers say, they may be wrong. Of course the way I believe it to be (and sincerely hope it is), teachers have a duty of care for students inside a school, and on excursions, part of that duty of care is making an effort to prevent students from “escaping”…this isn’t to say that they are responsible for the student or have a duty of care towards them if they do “escape”.

    Sure, it isn’t unreasonable to expect a group of students to be supervised by a teacher. On the contrary, I believe the students need the supervision of a single teacher only.

    Perhaps I should make these excursions painstakingly clear. The P.E classes in high schools in the ACT are generally half the students of a particular year split into three gender based groups. One for males only, one mixed, and one for females only. Each group has its own teacher, and will undertake its own activity at the pool. The reason there are three teachers supervising the walk is that there are three classes to conduct at the pool. These teachers are not being torn away from their other duties, nor are they depriving students of an education.

    I believe that it isn’t unreasonable to expect a group of HIGH SCHOOL students to act responsibly, self-assuredly and with integrity to warrent only one teacher there.

    What you expect and what you get are two entirely different things. I would expect a group of high school students to behave in an appropriate and responsible manner, but I also know that it won’t always happen. Teenagers are, by their very nature, still developing and often subject to impulsive behaviour which does not go along with common sense. Whilst it would be nice to be able to put a large collection of high school students together and have them walk somewhere quickly and without deviation from the designated route, it would be silly to think it will happen all the time.

    Considering that these pool based P.E. classes are regular timetabled classes, and the students and teachers have classes to attend after the pool class, it is wise to have teachers supervising the group.

    In my experience, the knowledge that a teacher is nearby is enough to ensure that most students behave. The group I saw on Wednesday looked quite happy to have the teachers nearby.

  • 11. Chuck A. Spear  |  March 19th, 2006 at 1:58 am

    Hi Martin. Since you are relying on facts from Wikipedia I think you should check this link:

    I hope you read it in detail my friend as it proves what I am saying correct.

    Don’t fret as you have not burst my bubble. If you want to deny the fact that your cerebrum is nonfunctioning then that is up to you. I will not argue the point further.

  • 12. wonko the sane  |  March 20th, 2006 at 2:38 am

    I’m sorry Martin. It seems to me that you’re a verbose bore with a superiority complex.

    And if you continually need to capitalise or italicize words to convey effect, then there is probably a better word to choose for the job.

    Most people that have learned to read without their lips moving can provide their own stresses, emphasis and phonetic dynamics without having to have the text underlined, capitalised or italicised for them. Do you read books in a monotone?

    Take your rudeness and high-handed pseudo-intellectual dross elsewhere. We have senses of humour here.


  • 13. heatseeker  |  March 20th, 2006 at 9:07 am

    Chuck, those constant references to headless chickens once again evoke visions of a pagan ritual, and I do shudder at the subliminal influence of the latest podcast when I read Martin’s ramblings … one can only guess his head is rotating 360 degrees and he is spewing green peas as he writes …


March 2006

Most Recent Posts


Blix Theme by Sebastian Schmieg and modified for Samuel's Blog by Samuel Gordon-Stewart.
Printing CSS with the help of Martin Pot's guide to Web Page Printability With CSS.
Icons by Kevin Potts.
Powered by WordPress.
Log in