Broadcaster ‘disgusted’ with school after bullying

Broadcaster ‘disgusted’ with

school after bullying

4:00AM Saturday Dec 20, 2008
By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Kate Hawkesby says deciding to remove her sons from Victoria Avenue School was a no-brainer. Photo / Supplied

Kate Hawkesby says deciding to remove her sons from Victoria Avenue School was a no-brainer. Photo / Supplied

Broadcaster Kate Hawkesby has pulled her two children out of their Remuera primary school after its handling of a case of bullying.

A Ministry of Education inquiry is underway after a 10-year-old child was bullied at Victoria Avenue School in Auckland.

An independent report commissioned by the school’s board of trustees said the school’s handling of the case was “so badly flawed and biased that it has revictimised the complainant child”.

Hawkesby, who reads the news on Auckland’s radio station NewstalkZB and yesterday read out the report about the school, is among parents who say the lack of quality leadership and intimidation has led to the “downslide” of the school.

The former TVNZ Breakfast co-host said the case had contributed to her decision to remove her children from the school – but there were other factors as well.

“I’m absolutely disgusted. They [head staff] were very ineffectual in dealing with us [parents] and they didn’t seem interested in what we had to say or enforcing the necessary punishment to the perpetrator.”

In the incident in question, a child was pushed up against a wall and “humped” (simulated sex).

Hawkesby said one of her sons had also been bullied – in a completely different way – and she had been unimpressed with the school’s handling of the case.

Taking him and his brother out of the school was a no-brainer, she said.

“No mother wants to have their kid go through that.

“You’ll do anything for your kids. I think the reason I took it so far [to the Ministry of Education] was because many parents had gone through the same situation – [head staff] just did not care.

“There was a culture there that was pretty rife. It wasn’t the staff, but the leadership at the school.”

Another mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she initially sent her children to the school because of its high reputation and fond memories that she had had of the school where she was a pupil years before.

But “appalling treatment” of parents and students had led to her regretting the decision, she said.

“Very manipulative and intimidating. It’s terrifying for parents. My son was accused of being a bully. He was basically screamed and shouted at and told that he was lying – they later found that it wasn’t true,” the mother said.

The school did not return calls from the Weekend Herald yesterday.

The ministry has said it has been assured the school is developing a plan to follow up on the report.

Please vote for Susan (Certainity) – a homeschooler

Please vote for Susan (Certainity) – a homeschooler  (I actually think her video clip is the best – Barbara)

Hi all,

Susan  (a home educator) is a finalist in a TV NZ competition. To enter, she had to prepare a 30 second video of herself as a superhero.

The prize is an opportunity to appear on television.

The six finalists appear on the following website:

We are asking you to please take the time to vote, before Sunday. Preferably for Susan (Certainty) 🙂

If you decide to watch all the videos, please be aware that each download begins with an advertisement.

To vote for Susan, look for the link, below the videos on the first page, and vote for Certainty.

Please forward this to anyone else you can think of who might be able to help us out.



Studio 2 – Movie Mad Challenge.

Studio 2 had a short movie competition going. You had to make a 5 minute movie on 5+ a day Movie Mad Challenge.

The Hamilton boys (Home Educators from the Manawatu) entered (these are the boys who produced Romeo & Juliet last year – January 2008 Keystone Magazine has an article about it) and made it through to the final 3 families. They had hundreds of entrants from all across NZ.

You can watch their 5 minute movie on channel 2. It is either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at 4.30pm. They are screening 1 finalist each afternoon. Or you can go on-line to the TVNZ website and go to Studio 2,

It is a competition that requires votes. All your support for the boys would be really great.

You can go online and check out how to vote, or watch on studio2 and they will tell you how.

Tuesday (Today) view it here:

Wednesday (Tomorrow) View it here:

Thursday Yeah Home Educators. View it here:

HOW TO VOTE: Text “MOVIE 3 Your name, town” to 8972

For more information:

Thanks for your support.