Zane Vockler has been identified as the teacher stabbed by a woman at Byron Bay Public School today.
Zane Vockler has been identified as the teacher stabbed by a woman at Byron Bay Public School today. Facebook

Parents in shock over stabbing of 'caring, gentle' teacher

UPDATE 4.16pm: THERE was mixed reaction amongst parents as they collected their children from Byron Bay Public School this afternoon, hours after a teacher was allegedly stabbed.

Speaking outside the school gates, parents shared their thoughts over what had occurred in their children's school.

Two mothers shared their best wishes for the teacher, who they named as Zane Vockler, and wished him a speedy recovery in Tweed Heads Hospital. 

Zane Vockler
Zane Vockler Facebook

"He's amazing, I've never met anyone who's so caring and gentle," one mother said.

"I'm in absolute shock. He's a beautiful guy."

Another mother said she hoped Mr Vockler would recover quickly.

"He's a very much loved teacher of the school and we're sending him the best wishes," she said. 

Another mum said: "I felt quite safe, there was nothing going on when I got to school except the children were being directed into the hall."

"I trust the process of the school and the procedures of the school and I felt 100 per cent safe bringing my children to school."

Another parent, Karine Ecker, said she hadn't heard about the incident.

"I'm really surprised but I'm worried that I would hate this to be a big campaign about how schools aren't safe," Ms Ecker said.

"This is a total surprise to me."

Ms Ecker said her son loved Byron Bay Public School.

"There's good and bad things about every school but he's had fabulous teachers who are very passionate about the kids," she said.

"He loves coming to school, he can't wait to get on the bus to come to school. I can only report on his happiness.

Meanwhile, one dad said he "was a little bit surprised" to hear about the attack.

"It's a peaceful school and in a small country town you don't expect it, maybe in a big city," he said.

"I wasn't aware it was in lockdown. I just dropped the kids off and it was just a normal day."

Meanwhile, Byron Shire Acting Mayor Michael Lyon said today's stabbing at Byron Bay Public School was an "isolated incident" and moved to assure the community Byron Bay is a "safe and secure town".


Police outside Byron Bay Public School where a teacher was allegedly stabbed by a parent.
Police outside Byron Bay Public School where a teacher was allegedly stabbed by a parent. Marc Stapelberg


UPDATE 2.56pm: A LETTER has been sent to parents of Byron Bay Public School students about a stabbing incident at the school earlier today.

In the letter, principal Linda Trigg said: "A staff member was injured early this morning, well before students began arriving. The injured teacher will be alright and is expected to return to work soon. The person responsible has been apprehended by the police. At no stage were students in any danger".

Mrs Trigg said as of midday today, the school returned to normal operations.

She said the school has good support structures in place and encouraged parents and caregivers who had concerns  regarding their child's well being to contact their class teacher or the office. 


Original story: A BYRON Bay Public School parent has been left frustrated and distressed after she dropped her child off to school without being told a stabbing had occurred earlier today.

The parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had dropped her daughter off at school around 9.15am, almost two hours after the alleged stabbing of a teacher.

She delivered her child to her classroom and left the premises, only to then discover that the school was in lockdown.

"Parents weren't contacted," the mum said.

"There was a bit of an atmosphere and they'd put all the kids in the assembly hall. They'd packed them all in there.

"But I wasn't aware of any of this.

"For me it was business as usual. I put her in the classroom.

"When I walked out into the back playground I overheard a mum crying that her kid's teacher had been stabbed.

"It was still a crime scene."

The parent, who works as a counsellor, said she alarmed the school had made no efforts to contact the parents, especially when the accused still hadn't been caught by police.

"There's people on social media saying they school is behaving brilliantly but I don't think that's the case," she said.

"We have a function called school stream (app) and if there's a fun run and it's been cancelled we get the text.

"I think they should have sent some communication out to parents.

"As a parent you do start to worry. You worry what happens if the person comes back.

"I feel like the logistics of closing the school took precedence on the first day back at school.

"Had I known I wouldn't have taken my little girl to school. I would have made other arrangements."

The mother said she was not blaming the teachers for what happened but hoped a plan could have been put in place to ensure parents were aware of what was going on.

"I don't blame the staff but I don't there's so much gossip going around.

"In my opinion they need to have a policy in place for incidents, be it a fire or bomb warning, there needs to be a protocol.

"I know the day after the Christchurch attack happened they practised a lockdown.

"My daughter came home and told me they practised sitting in the dark and being quiet. Obviously they didn't sit in the dark for two hours today.

"I just wonder if they have sufficient policies in place and who made that decision."

The parent hoped the school could at least let parents know in time of stress to avoid "playground gossip".

"I was feeling quite uneasy about her being there today until I heard they'd apprehended the person.

"There were a couple of parents in tears. The teachers looked quite shocked as you can imagine.

"For a parent, it's not reassuring to send a letter home after the fact.

"At the moment people don't know if it's a pencil through the arm or a knife in the heart."


UPDATE, noon: THE DEPARTMENT of Education has offered counselling to all students and staff following an alleged stabbing at Byron Bay Public School this morning.

The department media officer Sven Wright confirmed an in incident occurred this morning before school involving a staff member.

He said strict security measures were taken until police confirmed it was safe for the school to operate as normal and counselling has been made available to staff and students.


UPDATE 11.48am: A WOMAN has been arrested following the stabbing of a male school teacher in Byron Bay today.

A NSW Police spokesman said the woman was arrested shortly after 10am after she allegedly stabbed a male teacher at Byron Bay Public School this morning.

"The school's no longer in lockdown," he said.

More to come.


UPDATE 11.10am: THE Byron Bay community is rallying around Byron Bay Public School teachers and staff as the school remains in lockdown following a stabbing early this morning.

Posting on social media, many people offered words of support to the school as police continue to search for the attacker.

Briony Ahern posted online how appreciative she was of the teachers during this stressful time.

"The teachers did an amazing job ensuring all students at the school were in a safe area, with their parents close by, upon arrival to school," she wrote.

Rebecca Jane Zigterman wrote: "Teachers give their heart and soul to their job and to have this happen is devastating."

Paul Gold said: "Hope everyone is safe terrible news wishing the teacher a speedy recovery."

Danielle Megan wrote: "That's intense. I hope the teacher is okay and makes a full recovery."

Sydoni Yogini said the attack was sad for a teacher in his first day back. "The most lovely teacher. So undeserving of this. May his recovery and healing be swift."

The Department of Education has been contacted for comment.

More to come.


UPDATE 10.49am: A BYRON BAY school remains in lockdown after a man was stabbed early this morning.

A NSW Police spokesman said police were called to the Byron Bay Public School on Kingsley St, Byron at 7.20am after reports of the stabbing.

"Upon arrival police found a man suffering cuts to face and arm," the spokesman said.

"The injuries were not life threatening.

"The school remains in lockdown."

More information to come.

Original story: A SCHOOL at Byron Bay is in lockdown after a teacher was allegedly stabbed by a parent with scissors this morning.

The woman's whereabouts are currently unknown.

The stabbing attack allegedly took place around 7.20am at Byron Bay Public School on Kingsley Street, Byron Bay.

Luke Jolley posted on Byron Bay Community Board there has been an incident at the school and the teacher has been hospitalised with non life-threatening injuries.

He said: "We have been reassured that our child and all the children are safe. Just wanted to let everyone know, in case you wanted to contact the school and check on the wellbeing of your child, although they can't share any details of the incident".

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