‘Broken babies’: School defends teen thugs
A school principal has thrown his support behind the gang of thugs filmed savagely beating tradies during a wild rampage earlier this week.
The saga began on Tuesday, when two tradesmen arrived at SMYL Community College in Rockingham, southwest Perth, to fix a broken fire hydrant.
But soon after their arrival at the school for at-risk teens, a group of up to 10 students began surrounding the men and verbally abusing them, with footage of the incident livestreamed to Instagram.
The incident soon escalated, with around six teens seen throwing punches at the men while they are trapped in a corner, amid shouts of "bomb him, bomb that motherf …" and "keep going".
Teachers soon arrived in an attempt to break up the attack, but as the incident was unfolding, another teenager was seen smashing the front windscreen of the tradesmen's work vehicle after jumping on the bonnet and yelling "let's smash his car".
The attack made headlines across Australia and shocked the country - but despite the "appalling" violence, college director Sam Gowegati has defended the perpetrators, describing them as "broken babies" who needed help.
"The reason these kids are sent here is because they're disengaged from mainstream education," he told The West Australian.
"These kids are already vulnerable … and they do dumb stuff, that's why they're here, closed off in this area so we can manage that process."
Earlier this week, Mr Gowegati told The West Australian some students had been suspended following the brutal attack.
"It is an atypical event. We're just trying to figure out what happened and what triggered it," he told the publication.
"A number of students have been currently sent home to decide what their futures are going to be."
Mr Gowegati's comments come after the publication reported that some staff were so concerned by student behaviour that they were "petrified" of going to work, with one teacher telling The West Australian some staff were "scared for their lives".
According to the school's website, SMYL Community College aims to " provide an inclusive and supportive learning community that offers an alternative approach to education and training for young people aged 14 to 17 years of age who are at risk of missing out on opportunities due to their home life, health and other issues."
News.com.au contacted SMYL Community College and the Independent Education Union for comment.
Originally published as 'Broken babies': School defends teen thugs