Increasing Violence in Schools No Surprise

Concerns expressed by the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) today that they are facing increasing violence and intimidation from primary school students who have no respect for the law comes as no surprise to Family First.

“Families are increasingly concerned about the levels of violence in schools,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.

According to Ministry of Education figures from 2000 to 2005, physical assaults on staff rose 40%, assaults on other students 33% and sexual harassment rose an astonishing 83% in primary schools alone. The study released today by the NZEI found that more than 50 per cent of teachers reported “aggressive verbal confrontations” with students.

A Justice Ministry report late last year also showed that serious youth violence has increased by 27% since 1996, grievous and serious assaults by 14 to 16-year-olds jumped 54% and aggravated robbery increased a whopping 57%.

“All of these young people have entered a system of education and society where discipline and responsibility are being replaced by the politically correct nonsense of childrens’ rights,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Less than a fifth of students were stood down following an assault on a teacher – that is unacceptable.”

“It is significant that as schools have removed corporal punishment, schools have become more dangerous. School yard bullying by pupils on other pupils and staff is now the new form of ‘corporal punishment’ in schools.”

“We have a generation of children who have been victims of a social experiment of how best to raise our kids. And it continued with the smacking debate – another example of undermining parental authority and ‘state knows best how to raise your kids’.”

“Student behaviour will continue to deteriorate for as long as we tell them that their rights are more important than their responsibilities, that proper parental authority is undermined by politicians and subject to the rights of their children, and that there will be no consequences of any significance or effectiveness for what they do,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We also cannot continue to feed the minds of our young people with the level of violence, sexual content and disrespect for authority that is prevalent in the media without it affecting the minds of some of our most impressionable and at-risk teenagers and children.”

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