School restraint rules ‘undermine adult authority’ – Family First

NZ Herald 26 March 2018
Family First Comment: “Family First director Bob McCoskrie said the rules had “expelled common sense” from the classroom. “Combined with the ‘chilling’ effect of the anti-smacking law, this is all having the adverse effect of parents and teachers becoming too afraid to administer any physical control or restraint of children,” he said. “Children have received the message that adults cannot touch them or even tell them what to do. This seriously undermines the authority of parents, teachers, and even the police themselves – hence the increasing violence and disrespect towards parents, teachers and police.””

New rules that have required schools to report on more than 1000 incidents of physically restraining children since last August are undermining adult authority, the Family First lobby group says.

The Ministry of Education has told the group under the Official Information Act that schools reported 1010 incidents in the first six months after the new restraint rules came into force on August 15.

Principals’ Federation vice-president Dr Cherie Taylor-Patel said each incident “can take up to nine hours to complete interviews, records and online reporting requirements”.

“At present, every behaviour incident has the potential to be elevated beyond what is fair and reasonable because there is a ‘one size fits all’ process,” she said.Family First director Bob McCoskrie said the rules had “expelled common sense” from the classroom.

“Combined with the ‘chilling’ effect of the anti-smacking law, this is all having the adverse effect of parents and teachers becoming too afraid to administer any physical control or restraint of children,” he said.

“Children have received the message that adults cannot touch them or even tell them what to do. This seriously undermines the authority of parents, teachers, and even the police themselves – hence the increasing violence and disrespect towards parents, teachers and police.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has said “the balance is not quite right” in the new rules. He has asked the Education Council to “lead a discussion with the profession” about them.

Education Council general manager Pauline Barnes said the council planned to send out a podcast discussion on the rules in the next few weeks – the first of a series of podcasts seeking teacher input on a range of issues such as digital technology.

“Restraint is an important issue, and teachers tell us they are looking for clearer guidance on how to manage situations that may result in restraint,” she said.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12020462

Teachers in NZ restrain troubled students over 1000 times in just six months
TVNZ One News 6 April 2018
Teachers in New Zealand have restrained troubled students more than one thousand times in a six month period.

The Education Ministry started collecting figures in August – at the same time new guidelines were released.

Auckland mother Darian Lesa’s son Phoenix has been restrained – the first time he was six and struggling with noisy changes in his classroom.

“He just lost the plot and threw tables, threw chairs, threw telephones, was banging on doors and windows. He was let out to try and calm down.”

She agrees children need to be restrained and in tears, says it’s hard on everyone.
READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/teachers-in-nz-restrain-troubled-students-over-1000-times-just-six-months

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