The NSW Department of Education has this week revealed that Wagga public schools are among the most violent in the state.
Between January 29 and August 31 this year, there have been up to 60 assaults in the city's schools, including up to 10 instances of students behaving violently toward teachers.
The figures represent an increase from previous years. In 2018, there were 41 reports of violence, while in 2017 there were 38.
Meanwhile, in both 2015 and 2016, there were 27 school-based assaults.
By comparison, Albury's schools registered 49 reports of violence this year, including up to 15 targetted towards a teacher.
It was more than double the previous year's total of 21 assaults.
While admitting the rise is particularly alarming, acting president of the NSW Secondary Principals' Council, Craig Petersen, said the data is indicative of a widespread problem in society.
"Violence in schools is not a problem unique to Wagga or to NSW," Mr Petersen said.
"It's across the nation, and there's growing evidence to suggest it's international so we now need to make a considered response to violence and make our language clear and strong to say this is not acceptable."
The Department of Education was questioned on what its definition of an 'assault' in the school grounds would constitute, but did not offer an explanation.
However, the School Community Charter, drafted by the state government last year, expands the definition of unacceptable behaviour occasioning school-based punishment to include aggression, threats, obscenity, and intimidation.
"There is a zero-tolerance policy in NSW public schools when it comes to violence, bullying, harassment or assault of any kind," a spokesperson for the department said.
"Principals will take strong action when inappropriate behaviour interferes with the safety of the school community."
Addressing the endemic problem, Mr Petersen said, would take recognising the root of the behaviour.
"There's no simple answer, part of it is to do with the portrayal of violence in society," Mr Petersen said.
"The exposure to realistic and graphic violence in video games, and television shows, but not only that, it's reality television which makes the viewer care more about the conflict on-screen.
"It's the behaviour of our politicians in the parliament and its portrayal in the media.
"It models to our kids that we deal with conflict by being aggressive, and we need to call that out."
Mr Petersen is now advocating for teachers and principals to be empowered to better stem aggressive potential in their students.
"We need to allow teachers and principals to call our this behaviour when they see it," Mr Petersen said.
"We often find schools get called into question when there's a behavioural issue, and I preface that by saying that the majority of students and parents are excellent.
"It is the few who get very upset with the school when there's a conflict between their child and a teacher or another student."
In response to the statistics, a Department of Education spokesperson confirmed its commitment to supporting school staff in managing student behaviour.
"Any student involved in violence or who engages in criminal behaviour at school may be suspended and their parents are notified. Police are also informed if necessary," the spokesperson said.
"If incidents do occur, the Department's Incident Support Unit, which includes seconded NSW Police officers, co-ordinates support and advice to schools."