In the last few days we’ve been blogging about bullying, a culture of brutality, assaults on children and the controversial ‘anti-smacking’ legislation in supposedly child friendly New Zealand.
In the blog about a father being acquitted of child brutality (despite his admission that he’d tied his son by his wrist and then by his neck, shaving off his hair, and washing his mouth out with soap) we mentioned another court case which was being held at the time:
Teacher pulled ears ‘heaps’, boy tells court -22 March 2011
School children have told a court their teacher pulled their ears, kicked them and threw a chair at one of them when he got angry.
Wi Derek Huata, 53, a teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Ngati Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga in Hastings, is on trial in Napier District Court, facing 10 charges of assaulting a child and two of assault with a weapon…
Wi Derek Huata was found guilty on seven charges of assaulting young children in his care at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Kahungunu ki Heretaunga school in Hastings. The judge said that a parent had described him as “nothing but a bully” and sentenced him to 300 hours of community service.
Hawkes Bay Today reported on the hearing saying
“…Crown prosecutor Jo Rielly told the jury Huata had used physical force on the children when he believed they had misbehaved.
“Our law does not provide for physical correction or physical punishment of children in a classroom environment because they have been naughty or disruptive,” Mrs Rielly said.
Huata’s lawyer Roger Philip said the children were only six or seven at the time of the alleged offending and there was an issue over how reliable their evidence could be.
Section 59 of the Crimes Act allowed the use of reasonable force to prevent harm to a child “and that’s exactly what Mr Huata did”, Mr Philip said.
“He has not disciplined the children at all. He has controlled them and he has done so with the protection of Section 59 of the Crimes Act,” Mr Philip said…”
Fortunately on this occasion the jury didn’t agree with that point of view, or the defence’s interpretation of the law.
Mr Huata was bailed on the condition that he didn’t contact the parents of any of his victims and is due back in court in May.
What a shame that New Zealand schools can’t be peaceful havens of academic endeavor for their students.
Have you comments to make about bullying and violence in NZ’s schools? please leave them here.
Other blogs about bullying and violence in NZ schools affecting adults and children
NZ Scores Second Worst in the World For Bullying in Schools“School Bullying Reflects `Culture Of Brutality’”– “New Zealand’s poor ranking in relation to primary school bullying in an international league table is a reflection of a “culture of brutality”, United Future leader Peter Dunne says.”
New Zealand’s Next Top Model Bullied At School, But At Least She’s Not Pregnant / In Prison – “I used to get punched a lot by the other Maori kids. It was constant name-calling, like `you’re ugly, you’re never going to do anything in your entire life’.”
Fairfield College Parents Angry At School Bullying – parents removed children from school
Migrant Tales – A Better Life For The Kids – “our kids have been traumatised by the abuse they suffered at a local school: our eldest daughter was being regularly bullied at school…”