Seven months of no school

A WOMAN has faced court after refusing to send her 13-year-old son to school for more than seven months.

The woman, who pleaded not guilty to failing to fulfil her obligation by sending her son to school, represented herself during a hearing yesterday in Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

The boy had been enrolled at Bundaberg High School, but the court was told he did not attend between April 12 and November 18, 2010.

In an interview with police that was played to the court, the woman claimed her son had been violently abused by teaching staff, including an incident in which he was allegedly threatened with an Aboriginal artefact.

She claimed the abuse had been orchestrated by a number of teachers.

But she made no complaints about the abuse to the school or to the police.

“I am very concerned about him not being at school,” she told police during the interview.

“I have a responsibility to my child and not allowing him to be assaulted.”

But she said she would not send her child to the school until the issues were resolved.

During the interview, the court also heard the boy had twice been previously suspended from the school due to behaviour problems.

The court also heard the school had repeatedly requested meetings with the woman to discuss her son’s absence.

But the mum did not attend any of the meetings, saying the requests did not give her enough notice in order for her to attend the meetings.

She said one of the meetings was also mistakenly scheduled on a Saturday.

The woman, who spent long periods questioning various witnesses, was repeatedly warned by Magistrate Mark Morrow to keep her questions relevant to the charge.

The court heard evidence from three witnesses yesterday, including two police officers and a representative from the North Coast district office of Education Queensland.

Mr Morrow adjourned the proceedings until a date to be determined.

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