NZ Teachers Facing More Abuse

We’ve often written about both youth and school violence on this blog because it’s increasing in both severity and prevalence, it affects migrants with school age children and those who move to NZ to take up teaching positions. It also has a big impact on the local communities in which migrants live.

777 teachers were assaulted at work during 2008-9442 of them required ACC funded treatment for their injuries. Weapons are increasingly common place in NZ’s schools.

Many people move to NZ because they believe it to be a safer place in which to live and raise kids. However, the reality is that at least two secondary school teachers are seriously assaulted by pupils every school day and little can be done to prevent those assaults according to a survey that’s just been published (source):

(Update: within hours of writing this blog an adult entered Fairfield College in Hamilton armed with a knife, read about it here)

Teacher abuse appears to be on the increase, putting teachers under greater stress, according to a survey carried out by the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA).

The survey showed at least two secondary teachers were seriously assaulted by pupils every school day, The Dominion Post reported today.

PPTA president Kate Gainsford said some teachers were suffering physical injury and psychological effects from working in a “physically and verbally threatening and stressful environment“.

“The [education] ministry’s figures only cover suspensions and stand-downs, not actual assaults.”

Preliminary findings of the survey of the union’s 18,000 members showed teachers were under increasing stress from the threat of assault.

Secondary Principals Council deputy-chairman Terry Collett said little could be done to prevent physical assaults. “There’s always the odd kid who freaks out,” he said.

Secondary Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said abusive language was becoming more common in schools. “In terms of assault [we are] getting students who barge and push teachers.”

The survey results came in the wake of several high profile violent incidents in schools.

Te Puke High School teacher Steve Hose was allegedly stabbed by a pupil in his classroom, three wounds.

A teacher managed to talk down a 15-year-old girl at Hamilton Girls’ High School after she allegedly threatened classmates with a knife.

A pupil at Kapiti College threw chairs through five windows in a violent outburst….”

The report left out teacher David Warren who was stabbed in front of his students, it didn’t mention Lois Dear who was battered to death by a youth in her classroom. If school isn’t a safe place in New Zealand, a ‘sanctuary’, where is? How easily these incidents get forgotten about.

But why is this happening? A total  breakdown in family life and support at home for young people, generations of parents with no parenting skills to pass on, poverty, widespread drug and alcohol abuse, a culture of brutality and mental health issues are all factors. For further details read blogs:

NZ A Great Place to Raise Kids? Porirua’s Midnight Express

NZ Teachers Need More Power to Protect Themselves

Two More Teachers Assaulted In Tauranga

Bullying to Blame For Te Puke Teacher Stabbing

Kids in New Zealand – The Village Lets Them Down

“Poor” NZ Among Lowest In OECD For Education Spending

NZ Scores Second Worst in the World For Bullying in Schools