Media Release 1 April 2011
Family First NZ says that ongoing examples of vicious school bullying are a simple result of the culture we have experimented with, which includes children’s rights, declining 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 and members of the public, kids are bullying parents. Bullying is not just a school problem – it’s a cultural 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.”
“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 groups such as the Children’s Commissioner, Families Commission and the teachers’ unions who are 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,” says Mr McCoskrie.
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, 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 when they ‘cross the line’,” says Mr McCoskrie.