Secrecy is surrounding an incident involving a young pupil at Brown’s Bay Primary School last Wednesday – 6 April 2016.
Whatever happened it was bad enough for the Ministry of Education to be brought in to “support” the school – something that usually happens when there’s been a serious assault or fatality involving a student. That the police have began an investigation adds further weight to the suspicion that a child has been involved in a serious accident or assault on the school premises. Note how reports refer to an “incident” and not an accident, and that it took a week for the press to get hold of the story.
Parents angry at being keep in the dark about ‘incident’
Parents were sent a confidential message about an incident last week involving a young student. Parents collecting their children from school yesterday expressed their frustration to reporters, saying they did not deserve to be kept in the dark about what had happened. Principal Peter Mulcahy wouldn’t go into detail but said they were speaking to the boy’s parents and police and the Ministry of Education were investigating, with the matter raised at a Board of Trustees meeting last night (13 April) source. This usually means that a pupil has been excluded from school.
“Police investigate ‘incident’ at primary school” (NZ Herald April 13 2016)
Police can confirm that an investigation is underway into an incident that occurred at a North Shore Primary School,” said spokeswoman Beth Bates.
“Police are working closely with the school involved and enquiries are ongoing.”
The Ministry of Education were supporting the school.
“We have been supporting Browns Bay School following an alleged incident on April 6 involving a student,” said spokeswoman Katrina Casey.
“Our response teams support schools following incidents that can potentially disrupt school life. They help restore day-to-day routines and we will continue to offer support to Browns Bay School as long as is necessary.”
She told the Herald that police were investigating the alleged incident to establish what happened.
“They are leading the investigation and we are not able to comment any further while their investigation continues.” source
It is not uncommon for school ‘incidents’ to be shrouded in secrecy. Schools in New Zealand rely heavily on protecting their reputations for fear of losing lucrative international students, or affecting their funding in high income, decile 10 areas. In such areas school rolls are heavily influenced by desirability, catchment zones, and more affluent parents (who pay a premium to live ‘in-zone’) are expected to make significant voluntary contributions to school running costs.
Here’s another report, released yesterday – one week after the alleged ‘incident’:
“Mysterious incident investigated by police at Auckland North Shore School” (Auckland Now April 13 2016)
Mystery shrouds an investigation police have launched into an “incident” that occurred at a North Shore primary school.
The alleged incident took place last Wednesday, April 6, and involved a Browns Bay School student.
Police confirmed an investigation was underway, and said they were working closely with the school involved.
Browns Bay School principal Peter Mulcahy said all enquiries were going through the police and he could not comment further.
Ministry of Education head of sector of Katrina Casey said the ministry had been supporting Brown’s Bay School since the alleged incident occurred.
Their response teams were helping to restore day-to-day routines, and ensure the incident did not disrupt school life…
Our guess is that a child brought a weapon into school, or was involved with an assault on the premises. Most likely, this was a result of bullying or victimisation that was ongoing in the school. This type of incident is worryingly common in New Zealand schools and the details are suppressed for obvious reasons.
There have been many incidents where pupils have taken knives into school, and occasions in which teachers have been stabbed. Pupils have been threatened with stand-downs to stop them talking to the press (read Another teacher stabbed in NZ classroom).
Browns Bay is an area of Auckland’s North Shore that is very popular with migrants. There are large communities of British, South African and Asian families. Additionally, there is a huge cohort of international students resident in the locality who pump millions of dollars into the local education sector.
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