June 8, 2023

Parents of bullied kids can sue school, advisor says

Parents of bullied kids can sue school, advisor says

Pupils who are bullied in schools may be able to seek redress in court, the Children’s Commissioner’s principal advisor Janis Carroll-Lind says.

Parents of kids could sue schools which failed to act when their children were bullied, Dr Carroll-Lind told a forum on bullying in Auckland yesterday.

“Schools had both a duty of care to their children and a fiduciary obligation similar to a doctor-patient relationship.”

She said there was the potential to go to court if schools were found to have breached their duty of care, The New Zealand Herald reported.

If doctors, school counsellors and psychologists working with young people could prove that a young person’s health was affected because of the bullying, there was the potential for the courts to deal with the case, Dr Carroll-Lind said.

A girl in Australia was recently awarded compensation after being bullied from the age of eight. Her parents had to move her to an expensive private school after the bullying came to light.

Schools needed to be much more consistent in their responses to bullying, Dr Carroll-Lind said.

More schools rethink homework

More schools rethink homework

Hundreds of primary schools could soon follow the lead of their Wellington counterparts and make radical changes to traditional homework methods.

Karori Normal School has told parents that pupils should read comics and the backs of cereal packets to improve reading skills. They also suggest pupils improve their spelling by doing crosswords and playing board games. The school argues that homework has no positive impact.

The move has been backed by education expert John Hattie, who says he has found “zero evidence” that homework helps to improve time management or study skills.

Principals Federation president Ernie Buutveld said he knew of schools that were considering similar moves.

“In fact a lot of schools already have. It’s about making learning more fun. A lot of kids hear the word `homework’ and turn off straight away. Homework often has negative connotations.

“But by making learning fun you will be surprised at the number of kids who all of a sudden have a lot more interest.”

Seatoun School has changed homework rules, hoping it would prompt families to spend more time together. Principal Pete Pointon said it was also important for pupils to have down time after school.

Instead of traditional homework, pupils were given challenges, including tidying their bedrooms for a school term and planning and making a meal for their parents.

“If they are doing this stuff at home … because they are excited about it and want to do it rather than filling in some silly sheet or doing something they can’t see any relationship to what’s going on in their lives, I think it’s fantastic. They are switched on to learning and can see learning in a whole different context.”

The school still had some homework that needed to be done each night – reading and spelling for about 10 minutes.

The Education Ministry said homework could be effective, but “should not be excessive and should not unnecessarily fatigue and frustrate students”. The ministry encouraged parents to talk to their child’s teacher about homework methods.No homework but parents still have job.

By NATHAN BEAUMONT – The Dominion Post

Last updated 05:00 16/02/2010

Throw out homework, let kids read comics – principal

Throw out homework, let kids read comics – principal

By NATHAN BEAUMONT – The Dominion Post

Wellington schools are scrapping traditional homework methods, instead telling pupils to read comics and the backs of cereal packets to improve reading skills.

They also suggest pupils improve their spelling by doing crosswords and playing board games but warn that parents should not rely solely on school lessons to improve the children’s achievement in maths.

The move has been backed by education expert Professor John Hattie, who says he has found “zero evidence” that homework helps to improve time management or study skills.

In a letter to parents, Karori Normal School principal Diane Leggett pointed to research that suggested homework had no positive impact. “In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest the opposite.”

From this year the school had stopped providing homework sheets for pupils. Instead the school encouraged parents to be more involved with their child’s learning.

“Encourage your child’s imagination and creativity – you will do more than any homework or extra-tuition programme ever could. Turn off the TV/games console during the week. Let them play. Talk with them. Share with them.

“It doesn’t matter what your child reads as long as they get a balance of reading to you, reading with you and reading for themselves. Books, magazines, comics, newspapers, model aeroplane instructions, the back of the Weet-Bix packet … whatever, it doesn’t matter. As long as your child is doing something that they are interested in, they will read it, enjoy it and be all the happier and better off for it.”

They could also improve spelling by doing crosswords and word puzzles or playing board games like Scrabble.

Mrs Leggett warned that if pupils were struggling with maths, parents could not rely solely on school lessons to improve a child’s achievement.

She told The Dominion Post yesterday that feedback from parents had been “very positive”. “In fact, we have had no negative feedback at all. We feel that there is no point in giving children homework just for the sake of it. Learning should be fun and that’s what we will be focusing on.”

She was aware of similar moves at Ngaio and Seatoun schools.

Professor Hattie, from Auckland University, said homework worked for some pupils but for most it was a waste of time. If schools did give homework, he recommended no longer than five minutes a night.

“I applaud schools for taking this approach and I hope others follow what they have done. It’s far more important to have interaction with parents, rather than spending hours on some project.”

Link:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/3327534/Throw-out-homework-let-kids-read-comics-principal

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

By Caroline Olsson

Translation: Ruby Harrold-Claesson, Lawyer, President of the NCHR

This article was previously published on the Swedish Internet Site, Newsmill.se – 2009-12-03


Swedish authorities and legal institutions have a negative attitude towards parenthood, which is not good for the relationship between children and parents. Many children need more time with their parents to feel safe. Now the government intends be even stricter with school attendance, and even prevent parents who want to take care of their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling. They are also negative to children’s absence from school for travel with their families, and in general they announce “tougher measures” which will not help the confused children.

Children need their parents as life-coaches, but there is so little time in today’s stressful society. Children need a solid relationship with an adult to find their identity, and develop their personalities in a natural way.
Swedish society does not respect parenthood. Parents are seen as some sort of service to the school system, which will ensure the provision of children who are rested, fed, have done their homework and are interested in going to school.

I am sure that very many of the problems of today’s society, have arisen precisely because time for children and parents to be together has shrunk. This has happened gradually, and perhaps imperceptibly. We have given priority to other things, and now we need to wake up and see that too many children are suffering.

Those in power do not see this connection, so now they want to legislate more stringent attendance at school and even “tougher measures”. They want to prevent parents who have the opportunity to take responsibility for their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling, by requiring “special reasons”. It will also be more difficult to get time off from school for example to travel with the family. They have not tried to find out how very many children suffer today in the schools, due to bullying, harassment, and the like. Politicians talk about the “right to education”, as if there are no problems in the schools. Many children and young people are experiencing the “right” to attend school and social interaction, which the politicians are talking about, rather like a prison and a torment. A very large proportion of children today are exhibiting anxiety about going to school.

Politicians say: “We must have schools, because we have had them since the 1800s.” Usually it would not be so modern for you to say that something is from the 1800s. We are living in a completely different society now. Back then they wanted to increase public knowledge. But now the level of education of most adults is much higher than primary school, so now there is no reason to force all children to go to school, if the parents have other options.

The Government’s new Education Act Bill sends out a very serious message to all the parents in this country. We are now being prohibited from giving our children a better alternative to going to school. Parents are simply not allowed to judge what is good for their own children.

Sweden needs a new approach to parenthood. We need to see parents as experts on their children. The solution is not to pull children away from their parents even more, but to support children and parents, to make use of all the time they can get to spend together.

Sweden is selling out the immense power that parents’ responsibility for their children represents. This is a disaster. We cannot afford to do without it. It is upon that power that a society rests. If you who are in power continue to display this negative attitude, you will undermine the whole society. You cannot replace parenting by doubling the number of school nurses and counsellors. Parenthood cannot be substituted at all. Your animosity towards parents will only cost countless extra billions.

Is it a sin to send our kids to public school?

Is it a sin to send our kids to public school?


By David d’Escoto
© 2009 

A slew of research shows that America is losing the conservative Christian youth in massive droves. These studies show a generation being increasingly won over to a socialistic/secular-humanistic worldview in spite of the American church increasing their apologetic courses, children’s programs, youth rallies and books and sermon series on child training.

What is happening? Could it be that we are doing something wrong? I would make the case that we are blatantly sinning in sending our kids to places that are, in fact, causing them to fall away. Let me lay out the case in three simple points.

1. Does the Bible make it clear that causing another to “stumble or fall away” in their faith-walk is wrong – a sin?

2. Is there any convincing evidence that a secular-humanistic public education is causing kids to stumble and fall away from the church?

Is there any other evidence that indirectly substantiates all of the above research?

Are children being negatively affected in other ways in these God-forsaken schools?

3. What has been the response from the conservatives, Christian leaders and the church?

To find the answers to these questions go to: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=102269

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17)

David d’Escoto is a teaching elder, the co-author of “The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool” and co-hosted the former radio program “Homeschooling for Life.” He and his wife, Kim, have homeschooled their five children for over 10 years. For info on their free webinars, subscribe at their website.