DISCIPLINE should be boosted in schools to tackle the problem of vandalism and violence in the Hunter – along with the installation of CCTV, Cessnock councillor Ian Olsen says.
‘‘Do-gooders have taken away the rights of teachers to have discipline in our schools,’’ Cr Olsen, an independent, said.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Friday that a push for CCTV in the Coalfields was building, amid concern about public safety.
Cr Olsen said installing CCTV would be one measure to tackle the area’s problems.
‘‘It comes back to discipline in our schools,’’ Cr Olsen said.
‘‘Kids are coming out of school saying ‘you can’t touch me, I can do what I like’ and the police have to deal with it.’’
Cr Olsen said corporal punishment should be reconsidered.
‘‘People say they shouldn’t have the cane in schools, but if you don’t do anything wrong you don’t get the cane,’’ he said.
‘‘Teachers have got to get control back.
‘‘Then when the kids get out of school, they will hopefully have some respect for the law and we might get society back on the right track.’’
The Newcastle Herald reported recently that Cr Olsen’s 23-year-old son, Mitchell Olsen, was stomped on the head and bashed in a random attack in Cessnock.
Three offenders attacked him from behind while he was walking home from a pub, leaving him with a broken jaw, three chipped teeth and bruising to his ribs and head.
Cr Olsen said the problem was much wider than the Coalfields.
‘‘It’s not just Cessnock and Kurri, it’s Newcastle, Maitland, Lake Macquarie – it’s everywhere,’’ he said.
Cessnock City Council general manager Stephen Glen has written to Labor Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon asking him to advocate for federal funding for CCTV in Cessnock and Kurri town centres.
The former federal Labor government rejected Cessnock City Council’s bid for CCTV funding shortly before the federal election.
‘‘We are yet to learn whether the new government will continue the program,’’ Mr Fitzgibbon said in reply to Mr Glen.
‘‘If it does, I will certainly advocate hard on behalf of the council.’’
Cr Olsen said Labor had plenty of chances when it was in government to provide money for CCTV. ‘‘Now they want the Libs to pay for it,’’ he said, of Labor officials.
MAYBE: Ian Olsen says corporal punishment should be reconsidered.