We have decided not to display the images in our story on the website. While we believe there was a justifiable reason for broadcasting them to illustrate the extent and severity of the problem we don't think they should be available for further circulation.
The problem of school violence is not a new one but was given greater currency this week with the arrest of two teenage girls alleged to have dressed up in the uniform of a northern suburbs school in order to enter the grounds. Having done so a vicious fight broke out and one girl was hospitalised.
Today Tonight was contacted by students and parents describing how widespread the problem has become. We were provided with a mass of phone camera images recording fight after fight in school after school.
Students even told us in some instances the fights were arranged and teenagers turned up with phones to record the action.
While the DECS, the Department of Education and Child Services, say the incidents are isolated there appears to be evidence that it's a growing trend. There's little doubt parents have a crucial role to play in the way they raise their children and teachers need greater support from the system.
All the students who spoke in our program had parental consent.