NSW Schools Will Have Access To Specialised Anti-Extremism Teams From 2016

Following last month’s shooting of police accountant Curtis Cheng by a radicalised 15-year-old high school student, the New South Wales Government has fast-tracked a huge suite of measures it claims will combat potential extremism in the classroom.

In a statement, Premier Mike Baird announced schools which had been pre-identified as possible incubators for radicalisation would be working with specialist support teams from the start of the 2016 school year. 
The teams are a $15M part of a larger $47M raft of measures designed to combat extremism; Baird said community leaders will also be consulted to combat the “cynical manipulators who exploit vulnerable young people and children to commit acts of terror”.

School staff and counselors are set to undergo specific training to address the issue of extremism, but outside of the schoolground, the release also outlines an $8M funding boost to “community resilience programs” with the goal of “social cohesion and cultural harmony.” A telephone hotline will also be established, offering advice to those who are concerned about the possible radicalisation of family and friends. 

Baird said the plans are an “important step in our response to violent extremism.”

People have voiced their concern on social media, bringing the efficacy and ethics of the measures under scrutiny.

The new measures come after the NSW government lobbied Canberra to allow alleged terror suspects as young as 14 to be detained without charge; with any luck, this time around the anti-radicalisation materials will also be slightly more useful than the now infamous “Karen” screed. 

Story via Newscorp.
Image: UniversalImages Group via Getty.