Media Release 28 August 2014
Family First NZ says that both the Greens and Labour are wanting to politicise and sexualise school children under the guise of bullying programmes rather than deal with the school bullying issue as it should be dealt with.
Labour has said that it will make it mandatory for schools to report bullying in order to support ‘glbti’ youth in schools. And the Greens have published a report on bullying based on a small number of schools with the focus being only on what ‘the schools are doing to create a safe environment for young queer people in New Zealand’, using confusing terms such as ‘gender diversity’ and ‘trans identities’.
“These polices are not inclusive, they are exclusive. They only focus on a very small group of students who are being politicised by politicians. Schools are being sexualised by the agenda of these politicians. This is not the best way to deal with bullying and mental health issues experienced by all school students,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“It is not surprising that schools had better things to do than respond to the Green party report. Schools are keen to deal with the bullying issue but they are taking a full school community approach.”
“In fact, the focus is flawed. A large Australian study has called for a focus on the bully rather than the person being bullied. This is a more appropriate and effective approach. Bullies themselves often needed help, dealing with the causes of their depressive, aggressive and anti-social behaviours. Bullying by children is considered a stepping stone for criminal behaviours, increasing the risk of police contact when they become adults by more than half. Children who bully also increase their risk of later depression by 30% and require greater support for behaviour change through targeted approaches.”
“Parental involvement is key, but Labour and the Greens seem keen to exclude parents from this process,” says Mr McCoskrie. “That should concern all families.”
“While some politicians are obsessed with so-called ‘homophobia’, schools and students want the focus to be on all students who are bullied, for whatever reason, and who deserve support and protection. Anti-bullying programs that work place the focus on zero tolerance for any reason, and target the bully.”
“It’s disappointing that the Green and Labour policies and ideology are clouding their judgment and ability to effectively deal with bullying in schools.”