$1.3m for teacher’s suffering after fight29/03/2019 - Author: admin - Comments are closed
SCENE: Kariong Juvenile Detention Centre.A TEACHER who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing a fight between maximum security inmates at a juvenile detention centre has been awarded $1.3 million in compensation from the NSW government.
The teacher and a teacher’s aide were locked in a classroom within the grounds of Kariong Juvenile Detention Centre when the fight broke out between two inmates on November 5, 2007, the NSW District Court heard this week.
The teacher did not have her duress alarm with her, but the teacher’s aide did.
She pressed the button on her duress alarm, but no one responded.
A guard was meant to be patrolling nearby, but it wasn’t until the principal and deputy principal unlocked the door and entered the room that the fight was broken up.
The teacher had a key for the door, but was too scared to make her way across the room to escape, Judge Michael Elkaim said.
The teacher suffered chest pains after the incident and has been seeing a psychiatrist twice a week ever since.
She has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and has not returned to work.
She sued both the Department of Corrective Services that ran the centre and her employer, the Department of Education and Communities.
Judge Elkaim awarded her a total of $1.3 million compensation, which includes provisions for her psychiatric care.
“It is also worth mentioning at this stage there was only one [corrective services] officer on duty within the school premises,” Judge Elkaim said.
“This is in contrast to the position prior to 2004 when the facility was operated by the Juvenile Justice Department.
“It was then the practice for there to be an officer stationed in the classroom together with the teacher and the teacher’s aide.”
Judge Elkaim noted that it was the principal’s suggestion that only one corrective services officer nearby would be effective to provide security at the school.