Posts Tagged ‘MOE’

School Bullying Expected Outcome of Social Agenda

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

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.


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42

Mum fearful of school fines

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

By REBECCA TODD – The Press | Friday, 26 December 2008

A Christchurch mother is angry at the prospect of having to pay heavy fines because she cannot get her son to go to school.

Under new laws passed by the National-led Government, parents of truants can be fined $300 for the first offence and $3000 for subsequent offences.

They can also be fined $3000 if they fail to enrol their child in school.

In the past, parents could be fined $150 for the first offence and $400 for subsequent offences.

Michelle Chalmers said her 14-year-old son had not been in school for much of this year, but she could not force him to attend.

“We haven’t got any control, but we are being prosecuted,” she said.

“How do you forcibly get them out of bed, into school and keep them there, and even if they are there, how do you make them learn? I just don’t understand what they want us to do.”

Chalmers put much of her son’s problems down to lead poisoning from eating flakes of house paint as a baby. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) before starting school and has behavioural issues that have brought him close to expulsion.

At 14, he was diagnosed as dyslexic, but Chalmers said it was too late by then to make him want to be in school and learn.

“I was dropping him off, seeing him walk in and picking him up at the same place, only to find out later he had been bunking,” she said.

The former Aranui High School student was no longer enrolled at any school, but Chalmers had not been threatened with prosecution despite her son’s prolonged absence.

“There’s nothing I can do to stop it and it’s heartbreaking,” she said.

“I know I’m not the only one out there.”

Linwood College principal Rob Burrough said the move to heavier fines was positive, but cases needed to be looked at individually.

“Part of it is parental issues and part is student problems, so I think a $3000 fine will have some impact, but there needs to be a multi-pronged approach,” he said.

“Some parents have lost control of their children by their own admission, and so this is a burden for them.”

Linwood has been trialling anti-truancy programme Rock On, in which the Ministry of Education, police, Child, Youth and Family and truancy services work with the school and parents to get students back in school.

Canterbury police youth services co-ordinator Senior Sergeant John Robinson said police were working on their third prosecution this year for parents of truants.

“We’ll never prosecute anyone if the child is the issue, only if the parent is the issue,” he said.

Heavier fines sent a message to people that attending school was a priority.

“No parent wants to be held out there having to front up before the court and told they are not a particularly good parent because they can’t get their kids to school,” Robinson said.

Thousands to get lessons in parenting

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Why do you think we have these out of control 0-7 year olds?

Thousands to get lessons in parenting

By LANE NICHOLS – The Dominion Post | Friday, 21 November 2008

A Government scheme that sends parents of violent or misbehaving children to parenting courses is to expand to up to 15,000 more families.

Officials estimate that children with severe antisocial behavioural problems each cost society $3 million during their lives through crime and other state spending.

Parents of chronically disruptive children are now being sent on state-run parenting courses in a bid to address their children’s antisocial behaviour – some through court and Probation Service referrals.

The 12 to 20-week group courses, which include homework assignments on how to play with children, teach parenting skills such as rewarding good behaviour, setting boundaries and discipline.

Hundreds of parents have taken part since last year.

Officials intend to expand the scheme to the parents of 15,000 children thought to have chronic behavioural problems, who amount to 5 per cent of the country’s three to eight-year-olds.

Initial research involving about 200 parents suggests the courses – known as the Incredible Years programme – have resulted in vastly improved behaviour for up to 75 per cent of the children whose parents took part.

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft praised the broadening of the “excellent” initiative. He said early intervention was crucial in preventing children from growing into a life of crime.

“So often the battle is won or lost at that age. The longer I am in the Youth Court, the more I realise the problems we get are really formed in the 0-5, 0-7 ages.”

The work is part of a five-year plan targeting severe antisocial behaviour in young children involving education, health, justice and social agencies.

The Education Ministry says an Auckland University study estimated that the lifetime cost to society of a chronic adolescent antisocial male is $3 million.

Officials hope the ministry-led project will help save billions of dollars by preventing an unchecked slide into unemployment, mental health problems, substance abuse, crime and prison.

“If we get in early we can curb aggressive behaviour in children and decrease disobedience before they develop into permanent behaviour patterns,” ministry documents say.

Severe behaviour displayed by children as young as two included tantrums, swearing, yelling, hitting, kicking, talking back and refusing to share toys. Problem children were identified through before-school health checks, teacher and GP referrals, or parents.

Special education deputy secretary Nicholas Pole said the key was intervening early. “It starts with good parenting skills.”

Schools Failing To Tackle Violence

Friday, November 14th, 2008


3 November 2008

Schools Failing To Tackle Violence

Family First NZ says that schools are being forced to turn a ‘blind eye’ to increasingly unacceptable behaviour and violence because of a drive by the Ministry of Education to reduce the numbers of suspensions and expulsions.

The comments follow a Close Up programme which highlighted a vicious and unprovoked attack and yet the offender is still at the school and the victim (and family) is still be victimised by the inappropriate response of the school.

“It seems ironic that as we are saying no to violence within families and our community, schools are tolerating an unacceptable level of violence, sexual and offensive behaviour and intimidation,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

A Ministry of Education report earlier this year trumpeted a fall in school suspensions, and at the time Minister of Education Chris Carter heralded it as a ‘concerted effort by schools supported by the ministry’.

“Yet Education Ministry figures in 2007 revealed that violence and dangerous behaviour is on the rise in schools with more pupils assaulting teachers and classmates, and the Post Primary Teachers Association called for more resources to deal with difficult pupils and for zero tolerance toward violence and abuse,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Ironically, Family First uncovered figures which the Ministry had buried showing a 37 per cent surge in primary school disciplinary actions. Primary schools are reporting increasingly violent misbehaviour by children as young as five.

The presidents of the Canterbury and national principals’ associations backed up recent comments by a high school principal who said “Because it’s an election year, the Government is trying to make sure the statistics look really good.”

“The Ministry of Education is burying both its head and the extent of the problem in the sand, and both staff and young people are being put at risk by the unacceptable behaviour of a minority who know that the consequences are negligible,” says Mr McCoskrie.


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42