Five suspended after violent attack

More weapons used in school fights

LATEST: An Auckland secondary school today suspended five students after an attack on a pupil at another school.

The victim, a 14-year-old boy, was beaten up at Lynfield College on Monday by a group armed with a softball bat.

Lynfield College yesterday suspended one of its own students, who led the group of eight teenagers to the classroom where the incident took place.

Nearby Mt Roskill Grammar School today said five of its students had been suspended as a result of the assault.

The five would appear before the school’s board of trustees next week, principal Greg Watson said in a statement.

The board would decide whether the boys would be excluded or allowed back to school under certain conditions.

All eight in the group are also being dealt with by police, although police have said they will not face criminal charges.

Police are also investigating an incident in Porirua in which about 20 boys, believed to be from Mana College, went to Bishop Viard College and threatened students on the rugby field.

They were believed to be armed with a baseball bat.

Meanwhile, Secondary Schools Principals Association president Peter Gall said anecdotal evidence of an increase in school-related incidents involving weapons was a cause of real concern.

“It could be a baseball bat, a cricket wicket, an iron bar, a hammer, a screwdriver,” he said.

Mr Gall, principal of Papatoetoe High School in south Auckland, said people carrying such items, when questioned, would reply that they did so for their own protection.

“Well, that’s nonsense,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, they don’t need that sort of protection – ever.”

Mr Gall said his own school had been troubled by a youth gang that was “obviously working in a planned and co-ordinated way” in targeting students on their way home.

“They had hammers and stuff, and they were pinching cellphones off kids,” he said.

“We got some good information to the police and they made four arrests and that cleaned that up pretty quickly, but the fact that it happened is a real concern.”

He said the issue was a difficult one for schools to address and they had to be “incredibly security conscious”.

Staff had to be active while on duty and management relied on students to pass on any information about unusual activity.


2009 School Terms and Holidays


2009 School Terms and Holidays

This page provides information on the 2009 School Terms and Holidays for State and State-Integrated primary, intermediate, secondary and composite schools. It also provides information for Anniversary Day Holidays for 2009.

2009 Term dates

Primary and Intermediate schools

Term Start date End date
1 Between
Tuesday 27 January (at the earliest); and

Thursday 5 February (at the latest)

Thursday 9 April (90 – 104 half-days)
2 Monday 27 April Friday 3 July (98 half-days)
3 Monday 20 July Friday 25 September (100 half-days)
4 Monday 12 October No later than Friday 18 December (98 half-days)*

* Or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for 386 half-days in 2009.

Secondary and Composite schools

Term Start date End date
1 Between
Tuesday 27 January (at the earliest); and

Thursday 5 February (at the latest)

Thursday 9 April (90 – 104 half-days)
2 Monday 27 April Friday 3 July (98 half-days)
3 Monday 20 July Friday 25 September (100 half-days)
4 Monday 12 October Tuesday 15 December (92 half-days)*

* Or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for 380 half-days in 2009.

2009 Holidays

Schools must be closed in 2009 on Saturdays and Sundays, and on the following days:

  • New Years Day – 1 January
  • Day after New Years Day – 2 January
  • Waitangi Day – 6 February (Friday)
  • Good Friday – 10 April
  • Easter Monday – 13 April
  • Day after Easter Monday – 14 April (Tuesday)
  • Anzac Day – 25 April (Saturday)
  • Queen’s Birthday – 1 June (Monday)
  • Labour Day – 26 October (Monday)
  • Christmas Day – 25 December
  • Boxing Day – 26 December

And the relevant Anniversary Day holiday as listed below:

Anniversary Day holidays 2009

Location Day and date Occurs
Auckland Monday 26 January Within school holidays
Taranaki Monday 9 March Within Term 1
Hawkes Bay Friday 23 October Within Term 4
Wellington Monday 19 January Within school holidays
Marlborough Monday 2 November Within Term 4
Nelson Monday 2 February Within school holidays
Canterbury Friday 13 November Within Term 4
Canterbury (South) Monday 28 September Within school holidays
Westland Monday 30 November Within Term 4
Otago Monday 23 March Within Term 1
Southland Monday 19 January Within school holidays
Chatham Islands Monday 30 November Within Term 4

A 15 Girl charged with intimidating teacher

A 15 Girl charged with intimidating teacher

December 11, 2008, 8:16 am-year-old Taranaki girl, already in trouble for assaulting a teacher last week, has been charged with intimidation after allegedly confronting the woman twice at the weekend.

A police investigation into the school fracas last week has confirmed the girl assaulted the teacher after having non-regulation clothing confiscated.

The school, which said the student knocked the teacher to the ground and repeatedly punched her, has expelled the girl.

Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast told the Taranaki Daily News the student had since stalked and intimidated the teacher.

Twice last weekend the middle-aged woman was allegedly surrounded by a predominantly female gang, including the girl, and abused.

Mr Prendergast said during both incidents, another girl was observed inches away from the teacher yelling obscenities at her.

The teacher’s car was also targeted and damaged, with mirrors smashed while she and her husband were shopping.

The girl has been bailed on two counts of intimidation and referred to Youth Aid. Others involved will also be dealt with by Youth Aid.

Mr Prendergast said pack mentality led to the “disgusting behaviour”.

“It’s uncalled for. Everybody’s tougher when they get into a pack,” he said.

Despite sustaining serious injuries in the original assault, the teacher had returned to work but was damaged by the events, her principal said.

“It’s just traumatic. This is her community, she and her whanau have lived here for many, many years,” the principal said.

Teacher struck off over sex notes to boy

Teacher struck off over sex notes to boy

Friday, 12 December 2008

A teacher has been struck off after exchanging explicit sexual messages in a journal with a 13-year-old boy in her class.

The journal was discovered by other pupils in the class and the teacher resigned from the school after she was confronted by the principal, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The teacher has been formally censured by the Teachers’ Council disciplinary tribunal and struck off the register.

The boy penned a “crush note” to his intermediate school teacher, and they had an inappropriate written relationship lasting several weeks last year.

The student, the teacher and school were not publicly identified.

The teacher ran a journal system in her class, where students could communicate anything they wished, the tribunal heard.

The journal had exchanges between the pair, in which the teacher discussed touching the student, showing her g-string and commenting on the size of his penis.

The teacher resigned from the school, undertook counselling, apologised and pointed to her relative professional inexperience.

The teacher engaged in an “entirely inappropriate relationship with the Year 8 (13-year-old) student”, said tribunal chairman Kenneth Johnston.

Policeman takes girl to school each day

Policeman takes girl to school each day

By JOHN HARTEVELT – The Press | Monday, 04 August 2008

A Christchurch mother has been prosecuted over her daughter’s truancy in the first Canterbury case before the courts under a new scheme designed to cut wagging.

The mother of the 14-year-old Linwood College student was given a six-month suspended sentence on Thursday in the Christchurch District Court.

If the student is caught wagging again within the next six months, the woman will go back to court and be sentenced again.

Police are so keen to prevent the student going astray again that an officer is taking her to school each morning.

The police district co-ordinator of youth services, Senior Sergeant John Robinson, who is doing the daily pick-up, said the girl had been getting her schooling back on track.

She had told him her relationship with her mother had improved, and she was enjoying being back in school.

“Like any programme, there are plenty that we’ve got hassles with, but currently she’s doing really, really well. I’m exceptionally proud of her,” Robinson said.

The girl’s mother went to work early, and Robinson said he was happy to do the school run to get the girl back in the habit of going to school.

“If it’s what it takes to get her back engaged in school, then that’s great. It’s really, really good,” he said.

Parents have been prosecuted over truant children in the past, but this is the first case to have been brought in Canterbury under a new scheme called Rock On, which has six steps before a prosecution is made.

The girl’s mother was sent two letters from Linwood College. “And then there’s a knock on the door by the police, who serve a letter,” Robinson said.

The district truancy service takes the matter to the school.

“There’s an informal conference held at the school, where some of the agencies get together, along with the school, and discuss what the issues are.”

A further letter was sent informing the mother there would be a family group conference.

The family group conference put in place a series of steps, and when those failed to work the prosecution was made.

“We don’t want to prosecute parents for not having their kids at school, but we also want them to buy in to the process to get their kids ultimately re-engaged back in to school,” Robinson said.

The scheme was designed as a 16-week programme but had dragged on longer, he said.

Linwood College principal Rob Burrough said the student was back at school and doing well.

“She’s not a bad kid; it’s just she hadn’t been turning up to school,” he said. “Sometimes the tough-love approach is the best way because it is a shock to students when mum or dad is going to get prosecuted because they’re not going to school.”

He was delighted with the support of the police in taking the girl to school each day.

“They haven’t just dumped her. I knew he was doing that, and it’s great,” Burrough said.

Linwood is one of six schools in Christchurch trialling the Rock On scheme.

Robinson said further prosecutions were likely, with many students going through the family group conference stage.