Mass suspension after violent school brawl
AT LEAST six Mackay high school students have been suspended after a violent brawl erupted on school grounds.
Footage of the fight, shared on social media sites Snapchat and Instagram, shows a rabble of Mackay State High School students, mostly girls, punching each other and pulling each other's hair in the canteen.
The fight broke out about 11.40am on Tuesday while students were having first break. Those involved are understood to be from Year 9 to Year 12.
An Education Queensland spokesman confirmed the incident occurred on school grounds and said "several students" were involved.
"The students involved in the incident have been dealt with in line with the school's responsible behaviour plan for students," he said.
"The matter was referred to the school-based police officer. Parents of those students directly involved were informed."
The spokesman said the principal also addressed students at an assembly "to reinforce the standards of behaviour expected by the school".
"The great majority of students at Mackay State High School behave appropriately every day, are actively engaged in learning and have positive relationships with their fellow students and teachers," he said.
Recent documents from Education Queensland revealed Mackay State High School recorded the highest suspension and expulsion rates in the region, with 297 students suspended and 20 expelled last year.
Mackay SHS is the second most populated school in the region.
Local anti-bullying advocate Dianne Kendrick said schools in Mackay needed to do more to address bullying in schools.
"To say that there are a number of students fighting in a school, I'm not surprised," she said.
"We've lost kids in Mackay because of bullying, and we're going to lose more if we don't do something.
"Our kids deserve better."
The incident comes as new figures reveal vicious bullying in schools is driving hundreds of students out of Queensland schools and into homeschooling.
Education Queensland figures show homeschooling rates have doubled in the past five years with more than 2500 children across the state now educated at home.