Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media7: Doing it for the Kids

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  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    We obviously have different ideas about what constitutes pissy language. I looked again at what the union media release said:

    “Schools take bullying very seriously and encourage a zero-tolerance approach. They don’t need to be bullied into action,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

    “They are already very aware of their responsibilities in terms of providing a safe environment for all their students and their programmes and policies around bullying are checked by the Education Review Office.”

    “The government is naive to think just writing letters to schools demanding they review their anti-bullying policies will make the problem go away. The causes of bullying are complex and often reflect wider social issues. Parents, whanau and the wider community have a huge role to play in identifying bullying and changing behaviours,” Mr Leckie adds.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    My apologies, forget bullying league tables I'm quite sure there is a PPP opportunity in there somewhere

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Having first hand experience of this whole bullying thing being a teacher at a high school that may or may not have featured on a certain current affairs show very recently...... :)

    Bullying is obviously an issue that schools have to deal with on a daily, hour by hour, often minute by minute basis. In many ways and for many kids the horse has bolted and the ambulance is at the bottom of the cliff, with teachers trying to climb the sheer face of it to sort it all out.

    In terms of solutions our hands are tied. We get in trouble for standing down and suspending large numbers of kids for violence, drugs, bullying. We are instructed by the ministry to stop doing it.

    So we aren't allowed to remove too many kids, meaning we have to deal with them as best we can with whatever mechanisms we have at school, detentions, restorative meetings, monitoring behaviour lesson by lesson etc.

    Problem is schools are grossly understaffed in terms of dealing with all the problem students that we have. Try putting 15 misbehaving 14 years olds in the same room and add another 10 well behaved/mannered students on top of that. And that's ONE class.

    It's an 'interesting' soup.

    With the media coverage I know of certain things that would have contradicted what the media was saying and so they declined to broadcast/publish it because if it bleeds it leads. The reporting of Tolley's speech to the principals was 'selective', and TV3 suddenly went deaf when they heard something very important and DIRECTLY related to their story that didn't fit their world view.

    Since Nov 2006 • 879 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Yamis,

    We are instructed by the ministry to stop doing it.

    Do any media know that part?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    It's a pretty common thing for the government to do with schools.

    If your stand down rate is 'too high' or higher than other schools then it sets off alarm bells down in Mars (Wellington). They don't bother to come and look at each one on a case by case basis and go "good job, you obviously have a robust discipline system, keep it up".

    You really are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    We get really good ERO reports though when they do their 3-4 yearly camp outs at school.

    I understand the government wanting things to be done a certain way but a lot of their "instructions" and "advice" is really akin to trying to run a war from a bunker 5,000 miles away knowing none of the soldiers, combatants, or neighbourhood.

    Since Nov 2006 • 879 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Yamis,

    I get the impression there's an underlying agenda to Auckland Grammarise the system, akin to the US neo-cons' Project for a New American Century. I stopped taking AGS seriously after the 'Grammar Nazi' incident, not to mention it reminded me of my time at the most prestigious school in ChCh. The starkest lesson I learned from that place is that wealth and intellect aren't necessarily proportional.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    Yes, I saw that this morning on Scoop. Seriously…what is the point of the PP plan? It seems there are no significant savings to be made from the government’s own OIA business report, so why bother?

    Don’t get me wrong, I can see there might be some room for such a partnership, but the terms of both the contract and negotiation rules would need to be public from day 1 so we know what we are agreeing to and why

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 896 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Meanwhile, here's a direct quote from Tolley in the last story you linked to.

    My immediate reaction to Key's and Tolley's comments were "Ministers suddenly discover there is bullying in schools" followed by "Ministers offer no practical help to deal with it". I'm not surprised that NZEI members who are trying to deal with this problem and umpteen others every day get a bit pissed off.

    Bullying to me feels like a problem which could benefit from a similar strategy as the "it's not OK" adverts, but targetted more towards youth in medium and presentation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6207 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    'Zero tolerance' is a platitude and hearing it in relation to schools has to be the saddest thing about this whole bullying business.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Excellent Media 7 tonight which adds to this discussion.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2320 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I never would have guessed that, Russell. :) But do you really think that NZEI PR was actually very helpful, as opposed to being (obviously) attention-grabbing? You know, the safety and wellbeing of children might just be marginally more important than a media slap-fight between the Minister and the union.

    Tolley made her bed 2+ years back when appointed to her position. You makes your bed, you lie in it, (although she fly in it, back when helicopters were her preference for a meet and greet.)
    The National Party modus operandi has always been to bully. Generally pretty spiteful as seen yesterday in Parliament. hell, even the speaker couldn't control himself, which, basically condoned such ridicule.
    I think Tolley has just adopted the learnt National Party behaviour, and NZEI know the media is the only way to get Tolley to take notice. IMO

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Adzze,

    The NZEI response was understandable but poorly thought out. People were always going to view their choice of the "B-word" as an appeal for equivalence to kids getting punched and kicked, given the recent coverage.

    And Sophie, perhaps the NZEI take their cues from the NZ Principals Federation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle: "Bullying to me feels like a problem which could benefit from a similar strategy as the "it's not OK" adverts, but targetted more towards youth in medium and presentation."

    Maybe. But I'm not sure a lot of the idiotic, bullying juniors are mentally able to process what they are doing. They get instructed by teachers ALL THE TIME, in fact DOZENS of times a day (I shit you not), not to engage in shit house behaviour, but carry on with it. Getting kicked out of class, detentions, restorative meetings, parents in, stood down from school, suspended.... and it goes on and on, and we aren't allowed to kick them out of school.

    and guess where it starts more often than not?.... in that place called 'home' where they've been moved all over the country-side, beaten senseless, in party houses, tinnie houses, gang houses, FAS mums, broken homes, living with grandma, an auntie, parents with no boundaries.....

    and it's schools faults for not being able to deal with them in amongst the other 2000 kids.

    We are about the only 'normal' people and place in their lives.

    And my heart goes out to CYFS because we just scratch the surface. They have to go into the homes.

    It's OK though. We can just build more prisons and make sentences tougher. That'll work

    Since Nov 2006 • 879 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Yamis,

    O dear goodness, can I add anything to this, Yamis?

    Not much.

    Because, coming from a large (in numbers) whanau, which has a dysfunctional fringe, we know there isnt a lot even *whanau* can do when you've got some of the 2nd/3rd generation running wild enough to be stealing off their taua & aunties. And when confronted with the fact, snigger and sneer "So? Whatch yous gunna do?"
    We dont hold with violence to really stupid young people: what we do is ostrasize 'em, which - o dear, solves nothing, passes the problem on*


    *but you really wouldnt like the way we used to deal with stupid asocials in the old days. It was quick, & final-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    I am not recomending this! BUT
    one of the reasons an older society here worked was because the adrenalin-fueled youth had a place & a responsibilty (and were controlled strictly) and frankly, sport just doesnt take the place of war.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Just seen it. Can I add my dislike for the phrase "overweight or obese"?

    It's a phrase that seems designed to cause moral panic. The word overweight is sufficient for almost every circumstance in which it is used.

    I recognise there is a medical distinction between the two, but obese is surely a subset of overweight.

    If the statistic is being made clear - one in three children is overweight, and one in 10 is obese - that's fine, but saying one in three children is overweight or obese seems a deliberate tactic to make everyone think one in three children is obese. Unless the word obese actually adds information, using it is simply a scare tactic: not unlike combining statistics for injury and death.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Islander,

    It's true, Islander. Kids need to do edgy stuff sometimes and there just isn't space for it in our society, so it's replaced either by sporty stuff, or over excited kids, who have no idea about consequence, doing ridiculously life shortening or prison worthy stuff.

    Can I add my dislike for the phrase “overweight or obese”?

    It certainly is a scare tactic that has more to do with bullying of adults than concern with the health of children. Whilst people like Jamie Oliver, and countless other worthies, do their bit to change the culture of "fast food", work I much admire because I do the same thing in my way with my colleagues and with the children I teach, it does worry me that there is a wont in the medical community, especially, to hit people over the head with the phrase you and I so dislike. Shouting out supposed statistics at people, as you say, adds nothing to the debate around what we put in our bodies, but only fuels our dislike and judgement of fat people.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

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