Schools told to toughen up on bullying
Mon, 28 Mar 2011 8:32p.m.
Education Minister Anne Tolley is writing to schools demanding action on bullying after serious assaults on students.
Just this month two teenagers were taken to hospital after schoolyard attacks.
On March 8, a 15-year-old girl was punched and kicked as she walked home from Wanganui Girls' College.
She was hospitalised and said the attack had left her unconscious, bleeding from the ears and extensive bruising. The assault was filmed.
Also this month, a teenager was hospitalised after being beaten in another schoolyard fight.
The attack on the Lynfield College student was filmed on a cellphone and shared.
Prime Minister John Key said the internet and mobile phones had changed the nature of bullying but schools had to do everything possible to combat it.
"I think all New Zealand parents demand that their school is a safe environment and principals have a responsible to ensure that environment is safe," he said.
"The sorts of scenes we've seen... are worrying me a great deal. I worry about bullying, I worry about youngsters going to school and being intimidated by others, it's thuggish type behaviour that needs to stop."
Mrs Tolley would write to Boards of Trustees and remind them they were legally required to deliver a safe environment.
"I know what their legal responsibility is, by writing to them I am outlining very clearly the Government's expectation in this area," Mr Key said.
He also expected principles to work with staff, students and parents to ensure policies were sufficient and the Education Review Office would be asked to increase monitoring.
"We need to understand what happens when bullying gets out of control and that is when taken to extreme some youngsters take their own lives. I am not going to sit back and let that happen without at least trying to improve the environment."
When it came into office the Government dropped some anti-bullying programmes saying they were ineffective.
Mr Key said he wanted all relevant parties to get together to find solutions that worked and Mrs Tolley would head that.
"I don't think it's an issue actually of cash I think its an issue of attitude and whether we are prepared to stand up and act take a stance against bullying."
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2/07/2011 11:30:34 p.m.
my peace of mindWell I have to say the girl was not left unconscious on the ground thats just a horrible lie . Also I think people aint fair in anyway, Yes! what the suspect in this case done was terribly wrong and very much disturbing but! there is two sides to every story.And for the victim well she's in no right too, She also was fighting in school grounds and as a matter of fact there's even footage she has been in more fight's then the suspect it is alleged that the victim was even bullying whilst she was at school my daughter is a student at wanganui girls college there fore thats how ive seen the footage of the victim's fight's, I think its cruel and pathetic how society are judging this young girl (suspect) like shes a dog wich shes not , she is only a 15 yr old girl who made a mistake .
30/03/2011 11:29:05 p.m.
Bullying is part of the natural process of growing up in just about all species on this planet, and has been since the day we crawled out of the cave. If you take it away all you are doing is turning kids into weak-minded pacifists who run away from confrontation instead of teaching them to face up and develop the spine to counter the problem. It is a natural process designed to develop a growing child’s natural defence system and instincts. Yet another example of how we have become a spineless mollycoddling nation.
29/03/2011 7:12:04 p.m.
steve king wrote:
schools CANT keep these problem children away because the ministry of education insists that schools take them. Students with behavioural problems are transferred around schools in a sad, useless game of musical chairs. The government must actively resource schools buy providing realistic alternative services for the students with anti-social behaviour
29/03/2011 2:54:58 a.m.
Ex-NZ teacher wrote:
Totally agree Bukster. If a teacher so much as touches a child they'll be out of the profession. Other than "say sorry and don't do it again" there is very little teachers can do. The root causes of bullying are not going to be addressed by Anne or John telling teachers to "get tough on bullying". Watch the NZ-reality TV teacher drama "Seven periods with Mr. Gormsby" for some real-life NZ teacher experiences.
28/03/2011 11:28:16 p.m.
not so long ago PPTA disclosed the results of an extensive research on school bulying. Interestingly, the most bullied people in school are the teaching staff and who are they bullied by? The senior managers i.e. the Principal, DP, AP and that lot AND the students!!! There was an instant knee jerk reaction from 'Principal/managers' anti-teacher in the extreme. No wonder schools find it hard to hire competent teachers especially in secondary schools. Tolley needs to put back 'experienced leadership in Principal, DP, AP' roles as opposed to the tick box 'managerial model' which is a big phat failure, for example look at schools with LSMs and Commissioners. Some schools are constantly in trouble. I know of one which has lost 26 staff in 19 months because of 'poor/ineffective personnel management skills'. We are being 'managed' by the mediocre hence our mediocre education and economic system in NZ.
28/03/2011 9:01:28 p.m.
So the government is going to tell teaching staff that bullying is to stop. No suggestion of giving teachers extra powers to stop bullying, just make it stop and do it now. I've worked in schools. This sort of rule by decree is pretty common in that sort of environment. There is never any thought as to how results are be achieved, we just get ordered to make it happen by magic. This is to take no time, require no effort and no money. You are to obey the rules for teacher conduct, respect the rights of all students and not do anything radical but make all bullying stop this instant or staff will be punished for not doing as they are told. Thank God I no longer work in the profession.
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