Kids left to trash school property: Hipkins says restraint balance ‘not quite right’

NZ Herald 20 January 2018
Family First Comment: Here’s 2 reasons alone why they can’t recruit teachers and teachers aren’t staying
1. “[Students] might be throwing chairs at big screen TVs and smashing windows, and all teachers are now doing is taking the rest of the kids away and leaving the child to trash the room. And we have been told by the Ministry to leave them to it. So property doesn’t matter. Whereas in the past you would step in immediately to restrain the child or remove that child.”
2. “Some new entrants tried to run after their parents when they were dropped at the school gate, for example. “The parents ask the teacher, ‘Can you just hold my child until I leave’. According to the Ministry guidelines…that is restraint. That is just ridiculous.”
Idiotic.

Some children are being left to trash classrooms because teachers are unsure of their right to restrain students following a law change.

Principals are calling for an urgent review of new rules – and Education Minister Chris Hipkins has told the Weekend Herald he is open to that, saying “the balance is not quite right”.

Whetu Cormick, president of the NZ Principals’ Federation, said the rules rolled out last year had led some teachers to question their right to restrain students.

“[Students] might be throwing chairs at big screen TVs and smashing windows, and all teachers are now doing is taking the rest of the kids away and leaving the child to trash the room.

“And we have been told by the Ministry to leave them to it. So property doesn’t matter. Whereas in the past you would step in immediately to restrain the child or remove that child.”

Under rules introduced in August last year schools must file incident reports to the Ministry of Education and notify parents and boards of trustees every time a student is physically restrained.
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