Further details have emerged of the sickening attack on a 15 year old Wanganui Girl’s College student, Robin de Jong, that we reported on on 20 March. See Another School Attack Hospitalises Student
Video of the assault shows another pupil of Wanganui Girl’s College pushing her victim to the ground, kicking her in the back and stamping on her head.
Watch an interview with Robin de Jong here in which she says that the beating was as a result of a stabbing threat that had been made against her at school and her making a complaint to the principal that got back to her attacker.
The mother and daughter are speaking out in the hope that getting this issue out and dealt with will prevent it from happening to any more children in New Zealand’s schools. No more dirty little secrets, no more keeping quiet and pretending this sort of thing doesn’t go on.
Police say the violence they saw in the video is similar to that they see in male gangs.
A parent at the school also saw the video, said he was sickened by the violence and told the Wanganui Chronicle that his family had considered taking their children out of the school, but
We’ve considered the safety of our girls but it’s pretty hard because bullying like this happens in every school.
“But this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen..
It seems that there is no end to this violence in New Zealand.
Is this because parents simply withdraw their children from problem schools because they believe the school is powerless to deal with it? The result being that the bullies are never challenged for their behaviour and the cycle of violence is never broken. It seems the only solution is for affected families to shut up and leave.
Education minister Anne Tolley told the NZ Herald that parents need to take more responsibility for the actions of their children
“Behaviour issues shouldn’t be left to schools to deal with on their own. Parents should also take responsibility.
“Any kind of bullying is unacceptable, and this is an issue which the whole school community has to address.”
“Schools aren’t immune to the rise in violent behaviour which has taken place in society, and the vast majority of schools have robust plans in place to deal with it.”
But how can they take responsibility when victims remain silent, are quietly withdrawn from school or are consigned to solitary confinement in school offices.
It’s not just the students that bully either, only this week a teacher of 6-7 year olds was found guilty of assaulting the children in his care. What are children learning in classes like his about respect and tolerance for other people.
Why are we hearing of more and more incidents of bullying, why are assaults like these escalating. Will it take the death of a child to get New Zealand to take this problem seriously.
The injured girl’s mother says
“[Schools] can only punish [students who bully] with expelling them and to me that’s not enough.
“These kids know they won’t get arrested because they’re too young. That’s why they do it.”
The woman said parents also had some responsibility for their children’s behaviour.
She described the attitude of the parents of the alleged attacker as “very disappointing”.
“If my daughter was the one doing the bullying, I’d put a stop to it. I’d see it as my responsibility too.”
Looks like no-one is accepting responsibility and things can only get worse.
Update 4 April 2011
Police crime statistics released at the beginning of April 2011 showed the number of children under 9 apprehended for assaults in 2010 was 64, almost double the 33 recorded in 2009.
Assaults in the 10-13 age group also rose, with 827 apprehensions in 2010, compared to 70 in 2009. The majority of offenders were boys. Read Crime shock: NZ’s little thugs on the NZ Herald’s site
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’s issues and Education in New Zealand click here:
Have you experienced bullying in New Zealand, how was it dealt with and what was the outcome? Leave your comments on any of our bullying threads.
You may also be interested in our other blog posts
Social issues in the wider community
My partner has been bullied at her work work for the last 2 yrs and all complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. Complaints have been made by several of the staff (also victims of this bully) to managment but nothing is ever done about the complaints.On several occasions the bully has been caught ( and I mean red handed)stealing from the work place and again nothing is done.. At one stage the union was notified and bought in but again nothing is done…My partner is so stressing out over all of this and has no one to turn to. The bully in this case is also a good freind of the manager in the work place…What can we do??? I have had enough of my partner coming home complaining and I cant do anything to make it any better for her… Please help!!!
Reply: One thing you need to understand is that management/authorities don’t give a toss about work place bullies. What is said is simply lip service to make the vicims feel safe. Lay a complaint and you become the instigator, Bosses simply do not wish to deal with it and know that the victim will eventually leave and the problem is solved. Find another job and leave It is the only satisfactory remedy. Save your sanity, Another typical New Zealand I don’t give a shit buisness.
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Bullying and violence in 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.”
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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…”