Busselton Senior High School teacher stood down after students watch distressing video in class

A Busselton Senior High School teacher has been stood down after students watched a distressing TikTok video in class.
A Busselton Senior High School teacher has been stood down after students watched a distressing TikTok video in class.

A Busselton Senior High School teacher has been stood down after six students viewed an inappropriate and distressing video on a student's personal mobile phone while in class on September 9, 2020.

The Department of Education are now investigating the incident in which the teacher has been stood down for allegedly allowing the students to view the video.

Director general Lisa Rodgers said as soon as the department was notified of the allegation, the teacher was immediately stood down.

"An investigation into how this occurred is being conducted as a priority," she said.

"A small number of students were provided with immediate support and will continue to be as long as they need it.

"Parents put their trust in teachers every day to care for and educate their kids and we expect our teachers to uphold the highest standards of personal integrity while keeping students safe."

Last week, e-safety commissioner Julie Inman Grant and National Suicide Prevention Adviser to the Prime Minister Christine Morgan urged all Australians to avoid viewing or sharing the disturbing video that was circulating on social media platforms.

The deeply distressing content went viral across global online platforms including Australia.

"We urge Australians who encounter this content to report it immediately to the social media platform they've seen it on, or to eSafety at esafety.gov.au/report/illegal-harmful-content," Ms Grant said.

"This is yet another example of social media platforms struggling to incorporate safety protections at the core of their product offerings.

"We advise parents, carers and educators against drawing young people's attention to the issue unnecessarily, so as not to peak curiosity - once you see this horrific content, it's impossible to unsee.

"Instead, keep an eye on those who are more vulnerable and at-risk, and check in with them about their interactions on and offline, help them build their digital resilience and let them know they can come to you for help if they see graphic or distressing content online."

Ms Morgan said this kind of detailed content could have an impact on anyone who views it, but they were especially concerned about children and young people, people who may be feeling vulnerable or isolated at the moment or anyone with a past experience with suicide.

"We can never unsee some of the things we are exposed to and we must get the message to all people that there is absolutely no 'fear of missing out' when it comes to content like this," she said.

"I would ask every organisation and every community member to check in on the people around them to ensure anyone who has been exposed gets the immediate and ongoing support they may need."

All parents of students in the class were immediately notified following the incident.

Advice for parents and children who have seen or are impacted by the content is available at:

Kids HelpLine - For ages 5 - 25

  • CALL: 1800 55 1800 (Available 24/7)
  • CHAT: Chat with us online (Available 8am - 12am AEST)
  • VISIT: kidshelpline.com.au

Lifeline - For all ages

  • CALL: 13 11 14 (Available 24/7)
  • CHAT: Chat with us online (Available 7pm - 12am AEST)
  • Visit: lifeline.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service - For ages 15+

  • Provides immediate telephone counselling and support in a crisis.
  • CALL: 1300 659 467 (Available 24/7)
  • CHAT: Chat with us online (Available 24/7)
  • Visit: suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Headspace

  • Visit: headspace.com.au
  • Reachout
  • Visit: reachout.com