A major Wodonga school enduring a wave of fear and violence for months has hit back by winning approval to build a 2-metre high perimeter fence.
Students and teachers at Wodonga Middle Years College breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday, November 21, when they heard state funding for the structure had been secured.
The Parliamentary Inquiry into the State Education System drew 200 submissions from Victoria's 1500 government schools.
The college's executive principal Vern Hilditch said the Victorian government had approved $200,000 to build the fence.
"We had a number of people who were coming on site and there were altercations, but the staff were also doing their due diligence and duty of care," Mr Hilditch said.
"Many were on skateboards or bikes, riding into the school grounds, seeking out the people that they wanted to have an altercation with and then getting on their bikes and riding out as quickly as they could.
"This is why we need to put the barrier up, it's escalated since 2023 began and I've been trying to work with the police to try to work out why we've got this occurring."
Mr Hilditch said the fence - about 1 kilometre in length - would be similar to the barrier at the Wodonga Primary School across Mitchell Street.
He said the "only bone of contention" was that the government funding only partly covered the total cost of the fence.
"The safety and security of my staff and students is paramount, so we're going to work out how to pay for it later," he said.
"But we've been working with WorkSafe and the staff and the Education Department to try and resolve this matter, this is good result."
Mr Hilditch said the site would be prepared for construction of the fence in December.
Construction will be undertaken by Corowa-based Phil Cannell Fencing.
"We would hope to have the fence done by the end of February," he said.
"We know that fences aren't silver bullets and we do a lot of work to make sure that our students are safe and secure.
"We're just minimising risk and that's really what this is about, in line with every other school in Wodonga."
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