August 21, 2019

Legal option after School bullying

27 March 2009 7:28 p.m.

Dear Everyone,

I’ve pasted below a news article that exemplifies many of the vast multitude of things wrong with the state’s schooling institutions. I’m letting off a bit of steam because I am so angry at this rotten system that systematically practises institutionalised child abuse by teachers and administrators who are so desensitised to it, they will round on parents and bully them if they dare question what goes on. Many of these lousy schools are in blatant denial, refusing to admit they have a problem. The most amazing thing is that parents and even doctors and nurses will often side with the school against the victimised child, even in the face of bruises, cuts, crying themselves to sleep at night and having vomiting fits the next morning at the thought of returning to the place of torture.

This week has been amazing. I’ve had so many phone calls and emails from parents wanting to start home education because of the bullying their children have suffered for months, sometimes for years. One mum felt she didn’t want to send the child to school since he was so tender at age 5. She considered home schooling, but decided it was too radical a step. Now, at age 6, her son is toughed up and so much more sophisticated as everyone typically said he needed to become…and he is also defiled because of the sexual abuse he suffered at school. She now forever regrets the day she ever trusted him to the state. Another mum’s 10-year-old has significant physical disabilities which require a full-time aide. But the boy has had enough of the school-supplied aides and the constant teasing, as the nature of his disability is somewhat personal. He would prefer his mum, but the several schools approached will not have it as they not only dislike parents observing the reality of the classroom, they say it causes children to become too dependent upon their parents! And besides, they say, the boy stinks (due to his disability), and they’d prefer it if she would find another school. And so the boy refuses to enter the school grounds, the parent is begging them to let her instead of aides attend to her son’s needs, but they won’t let her, and she is now being threatened by a Group Special Education person with police and CYFPS and truancy officers if the child is not in school immediately!

It’s a flamin’ madhouse!

This article below has a typical school response to bullying. “Oh, it’s only girls being girls, boys being boys. It’ll blow over.” So when the girl spirals downhill and hits bottom, it turns out she has parents willing to do something: sue the school. Good on them, I say! Man, has it sobered up the school! The principal all of a sudden comes out of denial and makes a statement most principals would confess to only once they’d been stretched on the rack: “It does not matter what a school does, it can never be resolved completely.” This woman admitted that it is a permanent, on-going, unstoppable problem. We got a straight honest answer at last. I mean, this girl was bullied even after she left the school…by text messages!

The very threat of a legal suit also flushed out the fascinating, yet totally unknown fact, that “it is a statutory requirement for schools to take all reasonable steps to prevent bullying from occurring while pupils are at school,” and that “Failure to take such steps could result in criminal prosecution and hefty fines.” If all parents of school-abused children would simply threaten to sue the school, bullying would be slashed. A few successful suits, some bullies taken down, and the problem would recede way out onto the horizon.

But worst of all is the so-called Children’s Commissar, Cindy Kiro, criticising the parents for considering such an option, but uselessly offering no course of action in its place.

If you don’t know what is going on in these institutions of systematic child abuse called state schools, you need to find out. And then tell your friends and rellies to get their children OUT of those places as soon as possible. All I have to do is read the education column of Stuff.co.nz…it’s enough to make your toenails curl. But I’ve been reading it and other sources for over 20 years…I have stacks of clippings and e-articles of the most horrendous goings on, that just don’t stop, no matter how hard the schools try to cover up…and don’t fool yourself…they go to great lengths to slam the lid on any negative publicity.

Get yourself a subscription to TEACH Bulletin http://hef.org.nz/2007/teach-bulletin-1yr/.  It’s only $9 lousy bucks for 6 issues a year and almost always has a good sampling of the latest in state school violence, as well as other political and statist trends in relation to schools, home education and parenting. Get your friends and neighbours a subscription, too, for it will open their eyes. We’ve got to be informed and stop pretending everything is all right. We’ve got to get children out of the schools, and we’ve got to embolden parents to speak up when their children are being abused by the system.

TEACH Bulletin is available from us at:

Craig & Barbara Smith

Home Education Foundation

PO Box 9064

Palmerston North 4441

New Zealand

Ph. +64 6 357-4399

craig@hef.org.nz

www.hef.org.nz

Legal option after bullying

By NATHAN BEAUMONT – The Dominion Post

Last updated 05:00 21/03/2009

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/2281076/Legal-option-after-bullying

A family is considering legal action against a school after a girl was bullied for so long that she lost 12 kilograms, spent three weeks in hospital and had to move to another school.

The children’s commissioner has described the case as “completely unacceptable” and said she would be prepared to investigate.

And a lawyer is warning school boards that they could be prosecuted by parents whose children suffer emotional harm as a result of bullying.

The parents of the 15-year-old victim said St Mary’s College in Wellington did not do enough to stop the ordeal, which started in August 2007.

Though the bully had written an apology letter to the victim, her family said it was still seeking answers from the school board.

The victim informed the school counsellor when the bullying started, but was told it was just “girls being girls” and would “blow over”, her mother says.

But it did not blow over. Instead the victim said she endured taunts and rumours for a further seven months at school.

The girl’s mother said her daughter developed an eating disorder, lost 12 kilograms and spent three weeks in hospital recovering. The claim was backed up in a letter from a clinical psychologist that was sent to the school.

“After assessment it was clear that [her] weight loss was not due to concerns about her appearance but rather was as a tool to help her maintain control of herself during an episode of bullying by girls at school.”

The parents removed their daughter from the school, but said the taunts continued, with bullying text messages.

St Mary’s principal Mary Cook said the school did everything in its power to deal with the situation.

“The issue with bullying is that it is very difficult to deal with and isolate. It does not matter what a school does, it can never be resolved completely. We do everything we possibly can.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer has warned that it is a statutory requirement for schools to take all reasonable steps to prevent bullying from occurring while pupils are at school.

“Failure to take such steps could result in criminal prosecution and hefty fines,” John Miller said.

Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro said it would be a “sad day” if bullying victims started taking legal action.

“It’s not a route we want to go down, that’s the American way. It is an option, but it is the least constructive option.”

The victim’s mother said the family was keen to explore legal action. “Definitely, we would be keen to look into that area.

“All schools have different approaches to bullying, but St Mary’s seems to be: keep it quiet and deny, deny, deny.”

LETTER TO VICTIM

Letter from the bully to the 15-year-old victim after she left St Mary’s School.

“I don’t want you to have to leave all your friends because of all this shit. I am so sorry for everything. You have no idea how bad I feel. I would do anything to take back what’s happened and everything I have said and done, not only to you, but your friends.

“I know that we will never be friends, but I want us to be anything but enemies. I am so sorry for everything that has happened in the past year. I hope you get better soon and that this letter means even a little something to you.”

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School Bullying Expected Outcome of Social Agenda

MEDIA RELEASE 16 March 2009

School Bullying Expected Outcome of Social Agenda

Family First NZ says that concerns about school bullying are a simple result of the culture we have experimented with, which includes children’s rights, media standards, undermining the role of parents, and removing consequences.

“Why are we surprised by bullying and violence in our schools when children are fed this material through the media constantly,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Kids are bullying each other, kids are bullying teachers, kids are bullying parents. Bullying is not just a school problem, and it’s not just a youth problem.”

“We cannot continue to feed the minds of our young people with the level of violence, sexual content and disrespect for authority that is prevalent in the media and our culture without it affecting the minds of some of our most impressionable and at-risk teenagers and children.”

“But schools are suffering in particular because they are being forced by the Ministry of Education to put up with increasing levels of unacceptable behaviour and are being criticised for suspending these students.”

It is also significant that as schools have removed corporal punishment, schools have become more dangerous. School yard bullying by pupils on other pupils and staff is now the new form of ‘corporal punishment’ in schools.”

“All of these young people have entered a system of education and society where discipline and responsibility are being replaced by the politically correct nonsense of children’s rights. Ironically, this has been pushed by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner who is now crying foul.”

“The anti-smacking law has also undermined the role of parents, has failed to understand the special relationship and functioning of families, and has communicated to some children that they are now in the ‘driving seat’ and parents should be put in their place.”

Sweden, one of the first countries to ban smacking in 1979 suffered a similar fate with assaults by kids increasing 672% in the 13 years following the ban. A recent UN report on European Crime and Safety found that Sweden had one of the worst assault and sexual violence rates in EU.

“Student behaviour and bullying will continue to deteriorate for as long as we tell them that their rights are more important than their responsibilities, that proper parental authority is undermined by politicians and subject to the rights of their children, and that there will be no consequences of any significance or effectiveness for what they do,” says Mr McCoskrie.

ENDS

For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42

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Bullies turn to hi-tech torment

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/2264207/Bullies-turn-to-hi-tech-torment

Cellphones and the internet now mean bullied school pupils often get “no respite”, the children’s commissioner says.

“While parents may have been on the receiving end of a small group of bullies in their days at school, their children are potentially exposed to hundreds or thousands of bullies via mobile phone and internet technology,” commissioner Cindy Kiro writes in a report to be made public today.

The report into school safety, headed by Office of the Children’s Commissioner adviser Janis Carroll-Lind, follows calls for a national inquiry by parents of bullying victims at Hutt Valley High School.

In December 2007, nine boys at the school were dragged to the ground and violated by a pack of six classmates.

The report, to be unveiled at a school violence summit in Wellington today, criticises some schools for not even having a policy to deal with bullying and violence.

It cites cases of severe violence in schools being ignored by teachers and of pupils who were too afraid to go to school.

In one case, a student took a knife to school to protect himself after another threatened to stab him. Some schools either have no systems in place to deal with bullying, or the systems are not robust enough to cope when things go wrong, the report finds.

“There is evidence to suggest that in schools where things went wrong, it went horribly wrong.”

Dr Kiro said it was “disappointing” to find that while many pupils were either bullied or knew of others being bullied, most felt there was no point speaking out.

Children who witnessed bullying needed to feel safe to speak out and not condone it, she said. “There’s an awful lot bystanders can do.”

It was also important for parents to understand new forms of bullying, which were potentially dangerous because they could attract a large audience. “In terms of cyberspace, the potential audience is enormous and you can never take it back.”

The report notes that besides negative text messages, mobile phones can be used to gather a large number of pupils in a short time “for example, to the ‘top field’ to witness a fight”.

“Furthermore, mobile phones can film the fight so victims can potentially be re-victimised over and over when the video footage is circulated among a wide network of ‘spectators’.”

It recommends policies restricting mobile phone use at school. It also says many teachers do not use or understand “interactive online technologies” such as chatrooms and email used by their pupils. They need training to understand and address the issues relating to cyber-bullying.

The report also notes there have been instances where serious assaults occurred in schools, warranting police intervention, but police were not notified.

Children as young as five participated in the research. The youngest children reported being called names or being excluded from activities, though some had also been physically bullied with objects like sticks.

Pupils interviewed for the report suggested ways to tackle bullying, including cameras in schools, more teachers on duty, playground supervision, student advocates and red cards for bullies.

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Hardcore truants by the thousand

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4798639a11.html

Hardcore truants by the thousand

By LANE NICHOLS – The Dominion Post | Saturday, 20 December 2008

Thousands of the most at-risk children are still missing from classrooms, forcing education officials to act as detectives hunting long-term truants.

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft said the “unexploded time bombs” who were mainly male represented the hardcore youth offenders. It was unacceptable that so many had fallen out of the schooling system.

“They’re our toughest kids with a constellation of problems. As Youth Court judges, we’re terribly concerned by the lack of engagement in education of these top-end offenders.”

A year after The Dominion Post revealed a “lost tribe” of nearly 7000 children not enrolled at any school, the Education Ministry admits more than 2500 are still missing “on any given day”.

About 450 have not been to school in more than six months 148 of them in more than a year. Most are junior high school pupils.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has ordered an urgent briefing from officials and warned yesterday that parents who failed to enrol their children were jeopardising their futures and committing a serious offence.

Ministry senior manager Jim Greening said numbers had dropped significantly in the past year but the situation remained unsatisfactory. Pupils who dropped out of the school system were at risk of spiralling into trouble later in life, he said, potentially costing society millions of dollars through crime and their drain on health and social services.

“We’ve got people across the country working very hard on this issue. We want to give all these kids every chance we can.”

All the missing kids are aged under 16 so are legally required to attend class but have been absent for at least 20 days.

Mr Greening said the hardcore truants were revealed by a computer enrolment tracking system in all schools since August last year. More than 30 staff were employed nationally to find the truants.

Of the nearly 7000 cases identified last year, many of the most-difficult pupils had been hunted down and re-enrolled.

An information-sharing agreement with the Immigration Service showed thousands of others had left the country, or were on the list only because of processing errors. But many hundreds more were missing.

“Often they don’t have any address,” Mr Greening said. “[Officials] go to the place where the family was. If they’re not there, they’ll ask neighbours. It becomes a detective thing, I guess.”

The missing children often came from dysfunctional families with complex problems. Ministry officials sometimes alerted other agencies such as police and Child, Youth and Family. “The really long-term hard ones, our people might locate. But we know in three months’ time our people are going to be looking for them again because they won’t be in class.”

Judge Becroft said Youth Court judges had always suspected a group of up to 3000 pupils had fallen out of the education system, but the ministry had only now been able to quantify it.

Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro said non-enrolled children were being denied their right to an education.

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