Student faces court after burnout payback on teacher

WHEN a Rockhampton high school student felt his teacher was singling him out in class, he took matters into his own hands.

The student drove to his teacher's house and did a burnout, damaging a concrete driveway.

The teenager, whom The Morning Bulletin has chosen not to identify because of his age, faced the Rockhampton Magistrates Court last week , where he pleaded guilty to one count of wilful damage and one of wilfully making unnecessary noise or smoke.

The court heard the student drove his LandCruiser to his teacher's Port Curtis house at 3.45pm on June 17, where he parked partway up the driveway.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Shaun Janes said he then did a burnout, leaving 1m-long gouges on the concrete driveway and making unnecessary noise as he continued up the street.

Snr Const Janes said the youngster told police he knew he was doing the wrong thing when he went to his teacher's house, but felt he had been singled out in class.

The teenager said he had tried to resolve the issue with his teacher following the incident and the pair had reached an agreement where he would arrange for a registered tradesman to repair the damage.

But his teacher then made the complaint to police.

Magistrate Cameron Press described the incident as "foolish" and "childish", telling the student he was lucky not to be charged with more serious offences.

He told the student he would have to act with more maturity while driving in the future.

The student was convicted and fined at total of $1200 for both counts and ordered to pay $475 restitution.

He was not disqualified from driving.

A criminal history was not recorded, but the student was given a traffic conviction.

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said students taking problems into their own hands and engaging in anti-social behaviour was an issue in schools.

While he couldn't comment on this case specifically, Mr Bates said many personal details were easily gathered on the internet, but many students respected the boundary between public and private information about teachers.

"The reality is that all of us live much more public lives," he said.

"I myself started teaching in Central Queensland and you were well known in the community."

Mr Bates said while incidents like this were "happening with greater frequency", they were "not in epidemic proportions".


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