School bullying: It's about student safety not a school's reputation

School bullying: It's about student safety not a school's reputation

June 22, 2016

The Human Rights Commission says New Zealand schools must call the Police when students suffer serious assaults.

“If a student is seriously assaulted then a school must call the Police: there is no exception.  Schools are not separate principalities; they must adhere to the law.  This is about a student’s safety and human rights, it is not about a school’s reputation,” said Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford.

“We’d like to thank Krishnan and his family for speaking out, it’s not easy to be the one to make a stand and they do so on all our behalf.”

After the Te Kauwhata College student was attacked by fellow pupils, his school did not call the Police or the ambulance. Instead Krishnan’s family took him to a medical centre before he was transferred to hospital suffering concussion and a cut to the back of his head.  He remained in hospital for six days.  

“It is not OK for a ‘Lord of the Flies’ culture to exist in our schools, our children must be protected and safe at all times,” said Mr Rutherford.

“We need a comprehensive anti-bullying programme in all of our schools. It is estimated that at least 17,500 students or 6 per cent of all secondary school students experience bullying every week in our schools.”

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Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.

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