Support continues for suspended Eaton teacher

Eaton Community College associate principal Grant Walton, Apprentice and Traineeship Company training manager Warren Cluff and South West Institute of Technology managing director Duncan Anderson. (From 2014)
Eaton Community College associate principal Grant Walton, Apprentice and Traineeship Company training manager Warren Cluff and South West Institute of Technology managing director Duncan Anderson. (From 2014)

A petition has been launched in support of a local school's assistant principal who was stood down for allegedly assaulting a student.

The associate principal at Eaton Community College has been suspended during an investigation into the incident, which was captured on mobile phones.

Footage allegedly shows Grant Walton tackling a student to the ground at the school.

A man in a shirt and tie can be seen grabbing the upper arms of a boy and flinging him to the ground.

The man then appears to pin the boy down with one arm.

Mr Walton has worked at the school for 15 years, but could face a reprimand or dismissal.

The online petition calls for Mr Walton to be reinstated, and had received 2200 signatories by lunchtime yesterday.

State School Teachers' Union president Pat Byrne said it was inappropriate to speculate on the matter while it was under investigation.

"What this incident does reinforce more broadly ... is the urgent need for a strategy around student violence, such as the 10-point plan announced by the Education Minister early this year - to be properly resourced," she said.

"There was no additional funding for this strategy in the state budget last week, meaning that schools are expected to continue to do without specialist programs, teacher professional development and sufficient suitable alternative placements for students who need them.

"Principals and teachers are rightly disappointed in the lack of follow-up."

The Education Department's Director General Lisa Rodgers, who will investigate the incident, said she would not be taking the petition into account when considering her findings.

She said Mr Walton was stood down as soon as the video became public, and had been provided with "every degree of support" by the Department.

It's understood no charges will be laid by police over the incident.

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