We’re saddened to learn of yet another act of violent savagery in a New Zealand school.
The Herald has published an account of a south Auckland schoolteacher who was beaten unconscious in a school corridor in Mangere at lunchtime last Friday.
South Auckland school teacher was beaten unconscious by a student as he checked corridors during a rainy lunchtime.
The Southern Cross student has been suspended until the Board of Trustees meets this week to discuss further action and whether police need to be involved.
Principal Robin Staples said the teacher was monitoring the hallways during a wet day when the male student attacked him last Friday.
The teacher was still away and Mr Staples said he was to meet him last night to discuss how he felt about returning to work…
…Secondary Schools Association president Patrick Walsh said the attack was an example of the “disturbing trend” of increasing verbal and physical assaults on teachers by students. “… full report here
Back in February we wrote about Northern Irishman Roy Lilley, principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate ,who was attacked by a hammer wielding youth whilst he was at work on Waitangi Day. Read Belfast teacher encounters troubles in NZ.
Violent Crime in New Zealand’s Schools
There is a serious problem with violent crime in New Zealand’s schools, if you are coming to the country to teach, or you have school aged children you need to read the following. New Zealand isn’t the safe haven you believe it to be.
In March 2010 the Dom Post using the Official Information Act to obtain data on the number of school staff that received ACC funded treatment following an attack at school and put that together with Ministry of Education figures for 2008, to reveal that at least 777 teachers were assaulted whilst at work during 2008/9 (that’s without the figures for non-treatment assaults during 2009):
“Hundreds of teachers have received ACC-funded treatment after being assaulted at school.
Principals are shocked by the figure and are demanding immediate action to make schools safer.
Some school staff now fear breaking up fights in case pupils have weapons, and others refuse to do lunchtime duty alone.
A teacher injured during a school attack says that staff will always be at risk from “nutters”.
Figures issued to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act show that 442 teachers needed ACC-funded treatment after assaults at school during 2008 and 2009, costing about $413,000.
Latest Education Ministry figures show there were a further 335 pupil assaults on teachers in 2008 that did not require ACC-funded treatment.
The most expensive individual claim was for a 2008 assault, worth about $124,000. ACC refused to provide details about the incident.
The two largest assault claims last year were about $40,000 and $45,000.
A secondary school teacher seriously injured in a classroom attack last year fears he will never make a full recovery. He has spinal injuries, suffers constant pain and tires easily.”
We suspect that this teacher may David Warren. who was stabbed in the back whilst teaching at Avondale College in March 2009 (see link)
“I am able to work only part-time hours because of the injury I sustained to my spinal cord. I have a pronounced limp in the leg that was paralysed and my neurosurgeon cannot say for sure that I will ever make a full recovery. Some situations still trigger flashbacks of the incident.“As an avid sportsman, my lifestyle has had to undergo many changes which I am having trouble accepting.
“I think anyone in a job that fronts the public is at risk from the nutters that exist in our society, people who lack awareness of the damage they can inflict or lack conscience.”
The Dom Post’s figures don’t go back far enough to include Lois Dear who was battered to death and sexually assaulted in her classroom in 2006 (link)
The Post Primary Teachers Association, a union representing about 18,000 teachers and principals, says that unless classrooms are made safer, teachers will leave the profession.“It is a serious issue and I can’t see the problem going away, but there are no easy answers,” spokeswoman Jill Gray said.
And there have been other attacks and assaults since (see below for some of them)
Another Teacher Stabbed in NZ Classroom – Steve Hose stabbed at Te Puke High School in the Western Bay of Plenty
Two More Teachers Assaulted In Tauranga – two teachers at Tauranga Girl’s College were assaulted by a female pupil within a 24 hour period
Search for our posts under the tag School Violence.