The NZ Herald editorial:
Video images of a 15-year-old Wanganui schoolgirl being kicked to unconsciousness by another girl in her class, have moved the Prime Minister to have all schools review their attitude to bullying.
“I worry about bullying,” he said, “I worry about youngsters going to school and being intimidated …” His concern sounds genuine, not driven by an opinion poll. If schools find it a little galling that he thinks they need this reminder, they should make the best of it.
They may have given a great deal of attention to bullying in its various forms, and devised carefully considered policies to guide their response to it, but this is their opportunity to assess whether the policy is working and give further thought to alternatives.
I thought the PM wrote to all schools was a good idea. It isn’t about finger pointing, but it would ensure that at the next board meeting there is a discussion about the current anti-bullying and activities, and whether they can be improved.
But sadly the NZEI gets all defensive, and puts out a PR saying:
Schools don’t need to be bullied into action
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the Prime Minister is misguided to think that schools alone can stop bullying, as the root cause often lies well beyond the classroom.
John Key is instructing the Education Minister to write to all schools reminding them of their responsibilities and demanding they review their anti-bullying policies.
“Schools take bullying very seriously and encourage a zero-tolerance approach. They don’t need to be bullied into action,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.
You know this really pisses me off. How dare Mr Leckie compare a letter from the Prime Minister to bullying, such as we saw with the 15 year old being beaten up. That just screams to me that the NZEI does in fact not give a fuck about bullying, if they just see it as a term to bash the Prime Minister with.
Leckie should be ashamed of that press release. It trivialises the issue.