NEEDLE STORY- Robyn and Caleb Connelly
NEEDLE STORY- Robyn and Caleb Connelly Meg Bolton

School needle stick incident devastates family

THE grandparents of a six-year-old boy believe they have not been taken seriously after he was suspected of being pricked with a syringe while playing in the sand pit at Gatton State School.

Year 1 student Caleb Connelly said when he felt the needle prick he immediately reported it to a teacher who allegedly put the syringe in the bin.

The grandparents claim no further action was taken after the incident on Friday, August 10.

As a result, Caleb went three days without the recommended medical attention.

In a statement to the Gatton Star, a Department of Education spokesman said the school acted immediately to investigate the reported needle stick injury.

But Caleb's grandparents, who are his legal guardians, say they are still yet to be contacted.

Caleb's grandmother Robyn Connelly said she was only made aware of the incident when her grandson complained about his sore foot three days after the incident.

"If they had rung me up and told me I would've taken him to the doctor, but nobody told me," Mrs Connelly said.

When Mrs Connelly realised what had happened she immediately took Caleb to Ipswich Hospital, but doctors said it would be 18 months before it was known whether he had contracted anything.

Hepatitis B and C are the major concerns and the six-year-old will undergo frequent tests.

The family contacted the school on Tuesday, August 14, to report the incident, but felt they had not been taken seriously.

"They did go round looking to see if they could find anything, but as far as I'm concerned they didn't do it good enough," Mrs Connelly said.

The Department of Education spokesman said the school continued to work with the family to provide support as necessary.

Gatton State School principal Vincent Burke said he was happy to keep meeting with Caleb's grandparents to address any concerns.

Gatton Police Sergeant Tony Harm said police patrols would be increased in the area.



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