“ACT supports school boards to decide how to their run own schools without interference,” says ACT’s Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“If MacLeans College, or any other school decides that a student telling a teacher to f-off after refusing initial instructions does not reach their standards and they want to suspend them, they should be able to.

A decision from the Ombudsman to make the school apologise will only embolden students.

“Just because this behaviour has become acceptable in other state schools, and some homes, doesn’t mean that schools should have to tolerate it.

“It’s not clear whether the student apologised after the incident or whether there was a history of bad behaviour.

“I was a teacher for 22 years. I know that nipping behaviour from students in the bud is important and if you don’t, it emboldens them.

“Anyone with an ounce of experience will know that kids will see this decision as the behaviour being condoned.

“While we don’t know all the details, on the face of it, this decision sets a terrible precedent and other school boards will be wondering whether they have any say at all in running their school.

“Teaching is a difficult enough job. We should be supporting teachers, and not just paying lip service. I really feel for school principals who have to deal with so much nonsense coming from this Government.”