Teacher denies calling Aldridge student a ‘black boy’

A DEPARTMENT of Education investigation has been unable to determine whether an Aldridge State High School teacher called a student 'black boy', but its report suggests if the phrase was used, it was "to get the boy's attention".

After former Aldridge student Phillip Alberts, 15, said one of his teachers called him a 'black boy' when trying to get his attention in the playground on October 23, the Ethical Standards Unit launched the investigation.

The ESU report, obtained by the Chronicle, stated if the term was said, it would most likely have been done to "obtain or attract the attention" of the student because the teacher didn't know his "name or identity."

Aldridge State High School principal Ross Higgins said the term was unacceptable in any circumstance, and that section of the report should not have been included in the final statement.

When asked if that could be seen to imply there were some circumstances in which it was acceptable to use those words, Mr Higgins said that was a "fair observation."

"All that paragraph did was cloud the issue," Mr Higgins said.

"The teacher has denied and continues to deny that he ever said those words. At no stage did the teacher admit it."

The ESU found witness recollections were inconsistent; one student had a recollection similar to the accused teacher, and two students had recollections similar to Phillip, but at different times and places.

Phillip's mother Lynette Miller said she would be taking the case further.

"There was no disciplinary action, just an offer of counselling and if deemed necessary some cultural training."

The investigation

  • The ESU monitored the assessment which was run by "local management."


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