We here at E2NZ are shocked at allegations that Mikayla Edwards, a student at Morrinsville College, has been left with possibly permanent brain damage after being set-upon by four girls in a toilet at the school. Three of the attackers were in year 9 and one in year 10.
According to a report Tracey Edwards, the injured girl’s mother said
They allegedly cornered her in the girls’ toilet and beat her so badly about the head she was left with bruising on her brain. She now has constant headaches, blurry vision and memory loss.
But it was not the first time the girls had attacked her daughter, Ms Edward said. Last November they had taken to her – leaving her with concussion.
Ms Edwards wants to know why but no explanation had been forthcoming.
At a school board meeting on Monday the girls were asked why they picked on the victim. “Apparently none of the girls could give any reason as to why they did it,” Ms Edwards said. “I would have understood if [my daughter] provoked them – but she didn’t.”
The report also stated that a week after the attack the four alleged attackers were back at school, because school management thought it was safe to do so. Safe for whom?
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the injured schoolgirl and her mother, we hope she makes a full recovery and finds a school with effective anti-bullying policies.
If you’re a long time reader of this blog you’ll now that we’ve written many times about the appalling bullying and violence that goes on in New Zealand’s schools. You’ll probably also know that the country has one of the worst records for bullying within the developed world.
If you’re a prospective migrant, thinking that maybe you’ll take your children to New Zealand because its a great place to raise kids, please think again and look elsewhere.
In the long term your kids will thank you for it.
The Principal of Morrinsville College the school placed this notice on the school website:
Statement from the Principal Regarding Recent Newspaper Article
I am posting this statement in response to the emotional outcry that has developed as a result of the media’s wide reporting of an assault that occurred at this school last week on Tuesday afternoon. I hope that my comments here will be reassuring to our wider Morrinsville community.
Sadly, all schools have to deal with assaults and fights from time to time and we are no different in this respect. Usually the reasons for these incidents are related to issues that arise out of school time and this incident is no different. The three girls responsible for the assault that took place are all in Year 9 and only 13 years old and this was their fourth day at this school so they have no history of violence here.
The assault was serious and it was made more so by the fact that the victim ended up in hospital for several days with bruising to the brain. This was almost certainly made worse by the fact that this girl was allegedly assaulted at the Guy Fawkes celebration in our community last November, so that this was a second concussion which will always be more severe than the first.
There has been real concern and emotion from all people involved with this school – staff, students, Board members, other parents and of course the perpetrators’ families. We are outraged that these very new students to our school would do something like this to harm the very good reputation of our school.
I reassure parents that the Board and I have dealt very firmly with the matter and that following stand-downs and long meetings with the Board of Trustees’ Discipline Committee earlier in the week, put a number of strategies in place as a result of the incident. I am confident that there is no potential danger to the victim or other students from the perpetrators’ return to school. They are all genuinely remorseful and did not think for a moment that their actions could result in such serious consequences for the victim.
I also affirm that this is regarded as a very safe school, one where we never ignore poor behaviour, and certainly not violence, and where we have always taken immediate action to deal with bullying. If you read our last two ERO reports you will see that they also agree with this statement and our school surveys and other feedback from parents and students have strongly endorsed this view.
It is natural that many people will be feeling emotional at this time and that includes all of us, but especially the family of the victim of the assault. We have kept in continual contact with her mother and I am pleased to advise you all that she is out of hospital and taking things very easy while her concussion heals. We hope to see her back at school soon.
Contrast that with the mother’s comments:
- “But it was not the first time the girls had attacked her daughter, Ms Edward said. Last November they had taken to her – leaving her with concussion. Ms Edwards wants to know why but no explanation had been forthcoming.”
- Ms Edwards said that given her daughter’s history with the girls, she went to the school on the first day to arrange a safe environment for her daughter. “But three days later they took to her.”
We’d be interested to hear from any one who experienced bullying at this school. Send us your comments.
You may also like to read a thread about a public protest that was organised to draw attention to this incident, it appearedon the Trademe forum. Gives you a feel for how this was regarded by the local community and of the issues involved – which included pupils being disciplined for joining the protest.
For an update to this story see
School Daze (to be screened on 60 Minutes, TV3 on 30 March)
“Mikayla Edwards, just 13 years old, was beaten senseless by four schoolmates – hit with fists, feet and a toilet door. Today she is under 24-hour care at home and she doesn’t know when, or whether, she will ever go back to the classroom.
Mikayla is just one of a number of victims of girl-on-girl bullying in New Zealand. She and her mother talk to 60 Minutes reporter Karen McCarthy.”
Protest Against Criminal in Morrinsville College FB page (link)
Morrinsville College FRONT GATES, Morrinsville, , ,
It is not on! Lets gather and tell the College that we as a nation are not willing to see Criminals in our schools. We don’t care who’s family they belong too… The Victim HAS rights!
The protest is about letting the school know that what they are doing is creating an uncomfortable setting for present and future students, we want them to know we dont agree. We are not bullies and it will be a peaceful protest.
I was a student from 01-05 and have seen what that school is about…
It is about time My Inger ate his words we listened to every week at Assembly… “Morrinsville College has a ZERO tolerance for BULLYING” this went past bullying and straight to assault in the first degree.
They are not sorry (the attackers) they are bragging about it on there facebooks, and one of the mothers took her daughter to the Movies while being stood down.
Make your signs and do it with meaning, and we will see you there!
WARNING: If you turn up with signs or clothing that is offence or racist you will be asked to leave. Remember this is PEACEFUL protest.
For further reading about New Zealand’s culture of bullying and violence click here, or click on some of those stories below. For our stats and facts page relating to children and education click here:
Fairfield College Parents Angry At School Bullying – parents removed children from school