Melbourne Principal Suspended After Dragging Child Across School Grounds

This is the video dividing the community after a Melbourne principal dragging student misbehaving across the school grounds was released.

The video was taken yesterday at Manor Lakes P-12 College in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

There are claims online that the principal intervened after the child, 9, allegedly kicked a heavily pregnant teacher in the stomach. Authorities acted quickly to suspend the principal, but have not yet revealed what prompted him to act.

The video

The video, shot by a student, shows Manor Lakes principal Steve Warner dragging the boy by his arm. It happened only two days into the new school year. You can view it yourself below.

Parents petition for his reinstatement on Change.Org:

Many reports on social media claimed the student was allegedly throwing stones and refusing to get off his skateboard. The principal allegedly grabbed his arm and pulled him away to be dealt with outside of the school playground before he injured others.

Parents are claiming that this principal has been a breath of fresh air to the school of almost 2,000 students, and has made such significant and positive changes to the school and its community.

Parents have now started a petition supporting the principal after he was suspended yesterday. It already has more than 3000 signatures. Victorian education minister James Merlino branded his actions “unacceptable”.

“Dear Mr James Merlino,

Two years ago Mr Steve Warner was appointed the role of Principal of Manor Lakes P-12.  He has been an amazing influence on the school and it’s students.  Steve’s dedication to his school community has been tremendous. He has turned this school around with a renewed focus on learning.  He has improved discipline and behavior across the school and his management has seen many improvements in the schools facilities for students making for a fantastic environment.  

The worst outcome of this situation would be for the school to lose him as the principal and leader.  His work has only just started to take effect and there is only good things that could come from him continuing in his role.  

We are asking that his dedicated work at the school not be in vain due to this one isolated incident.  

The students and school community of Manor Lakes P-12 can not afford to lose a man so dedicated to improving the education of the approx. 2000 students. 

Please reinstate Mr Steve Warner.


You can view the petition here.

The Education Department and Victoria Police are now both investigating.

“Let me be very clear, I will not tolerate this kind of completely unacceptable behaviour in our schools,” Mr Merlino said.

“There will be an independent investigation into the staff member’s conduct, and he has been immediately stood down while this investigation takes place.”

Victorian principal swtood down

A Victorian school principal has been stood down after footage emerged showing him dragging a primary student across the ground. #7News

Posted by 7NEWS Sydney on Thursday, January 31, 2019

Parents support principal

Parent Michael England, who started the petition, told radio 3AW that the school community did not want Mr Warner sacked. He took over the reins at the school, which has 2000 primary and secondary students, in 2016.

“We need to put it out there that Steve is an amazing principal for our school and the stuff that he’s doing, we can’t afford to lose that. We can’t go backwards again,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

He said he wouldn’t have an issue with his own child being treated the same way, if necessary.

“If I found out that my child had done something to deserve, if I found out my child had done something that warranted that, I would not have an issue with it at all, at all.”

Relatives say child was misbehaving

The boy’s family told the Herald Sun that the boy was causing trouble, but the principal shouldn’t have grabbed him that way.

“Yes, he was misbehaving, but he was not physically abusing any teachers,” one relative said.

“Regardless of his behaviour, he should not have been treated like this.”

This is not the first time a teacher has got in trouble for doing something controversial. In 2018 a teacher at a prestigious Victorian private school copped a blast for revealing she wanted to deliberately infect her children with measles.

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  1. Avatar of Linda Preston
    Linda PrestonReply

    Oh dear this principal was caught on camera doing what many others do and have done. I was teaching at a school in Ballarat where this was common practice as was shaking small children. One prep student became traumatised and a school refuser after being observed by myself being shaken by the AP. I heard the screams and thought a child must have caught their hand in a door or such but was able to see into the corridor where my observation was made. We had many troubled students who were often subjected to bullying and physical abuse by staff. I tried to raise this as a issue but was shouted down and told I was soft. I had the respect of many of these difficult students and in the end left on work over. I sought work in Geelong but soon found myself in a similar regime. Work over being the only option I was then bullied through the system to a point where I gave up and ended up on a disability pension – state basic and labeled with mental health issues. This despite having a Masters Degree and being ready to apply for principal positions til I spoke up. This has brought it all back . It is so much easier to blame children living terrible lives rather than take a principal on $200000 to task. This one is obviously a bully not someone who models respect.

  2. Avatar of Scott McKinlay

    If some of the claims about the child’s behaviour are true, he is clearly very troubled and in need of help. I fail to see how dragging him across the school grounds in full public view is going to help him overcome his problems. Amazingly, some parents are signing a petition in support of the principal who has been suspended over this ugly incident. We Australians still have some very strange ideas about child raising.

  3. Avatar of Pat Murphy

    When I was in high school back in the 70s, some kid in my class called a female teacher ‘a bitch’. The teacher left the class and reported it to the principal, who stormed into the class and dragged the culprit to his office and gave him ‘six of the best’ with the strap made of solid rubber floor matting and then was suspended. . He was very quiet when he returned to school…

    • Avatar of Scott McKinlay

      Pat Murphy, Witnessing ugly classroom incidents like that was a normal experience for many Australian students in the 70’s and earlier. Obviously, you have never forgotten it. Of course, the boy concerned should haven been disciplined even though it’s totally possible the teacher really was a bitch. I think we all met a few of those.! However, the principal’s response was much worse than the kid’s behaviour. In any other context, the principal would have been charged with physical assault.

  4. Avatar of H

    The principal didn’t “drag” the boy across the ground, he was on a sensory board, a board that has wheels. The media, as per their usual, has sensationalised and misreported on a situation, instead of reporting true facts

  5. Avatar of Scott McKinlay

    The boy was obviously being dragged against his will – I don’t care whether he was on the ground, a so-called sensory board or a motorbike! You have to ask yourself why a nine-year-old wouldn’t voluntarily accompany the principal if so directed. The child is obviously troubled. That principal’s actions not only exacerbated the child’s problems but also ruled the man out as someone who should be working with children.

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