School bus terror as teacher slashed - teen accused released on bail

A BUNDARRA student accused of slashing a teacher’s face with a tyre leaver has been released on bail.

The alleged attack occurred on a school bus run on Wednesday afternoon and has left a 33-year-old school staff member in hospital with serious facial injuries.

About 3.20pm, the 33-year-old man was behind the wheel of the bus which was loaded with students from Bundarra Central School when a 16-year-old boy asked him to stop the bus.

New England Acting Inspector Stuart Gray told The Leader the conversation then spiralled. 

“Police will allege the 16-year-old has armed himself with a weapon and struck the victim in the face,” he said.

“The student left the scene ... the other students on the bus gave first aid to the driver.”

Police said other students on the bus raised the alarm, calling for an ambulance and notifying the school.

Ambulance paramedics treated the driver at the scene for a laceration to the side of his eye and an injury to his nose, before transporting him to Armidale hospital in a stable condition. An ambulance spokesperson said the man was then transported to Tamworth hospital for treatment.

“About 4.15pm, police arrested the young person at a house on Hospital Flat Rd and he’s now been charged with assault school staff member occasioning actual bodily harm,” Acting Inspector Gray said.

The boy was released on conditional bail to answer the charge in court next month, which can carry tougher maximum penalties if convicted of assaulting a school staff member.

The Department of Education has confirmed it is co-operating with police as part of the investigation.

“Bundarra Central School is supporting the staff member who was allegedly assaulted by a student and will also provide assistance to any staff members or students who have concerns as a result of the incident,” a spokesman said yesterday.

“When these processes are finalised, the school will proceed with its own disciplinary procedures.”

The spokesperson said the department endorses action results from the police inquiries and any student involved in aggressive behaviour will also be disciplined using the school’s community-endorsed code of behaviour.

“The student’s actions are completely against the values of the school. Bundarra Central School does not accept or tolerate violence or threatening behaviour in any form,” the spokesman said.

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