The Herald reports:
When Chief Petty Officer Kelly Kahukiwa left the navy to teach in Northland he did not know what a charter school was.
Now, because he had a job at a Whangarei charter school, the student teacher is caught between a teachers’ union and a controversial government policy that has left him blacklisted from training at state schools. It comes after the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) said its members will not work with employees of charter schools.
Mr Kahukiwa started teaching te reo Maori and music at Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa in Whangarei at the start of the year. He sought out the school after meeting some of its students at the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Cassino in Italy last May, where he was with the Royal New Zealand Navy.
“All of us in the military, when we met those kids, we knew there was something special going on,” he said.
“I just thought, oh well, whatever a charter school is it works for these kids, I want to be part of it.”
Mr Kahukiwa said the first he knew of any issues was three days into his next placement, at Tikipunga High School in May. Once the school found out he was from a charter school, the board asked him not to return.
“I was just astounded,” he said. “I had no idea why or what was going on. I’m just one teacher trying to do what [the PPTA members] all joined for, which is educate kids, uplift the kids and share my skills.”
PPTA members should be ashamed that they are treating someone who wants to educate kids, so poorly. It’s appalling.
David Seymour also comments:
The case of the trainee teacher caught in the political campaigning of the PPTA is a national disgrace, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The PPTA doesn’t seem to understand that whether a teacher is employed in the state sector, an integrated school, or a partnership school, they are employed by taxpayers. And as taxpayers we elect governments to take decisions on our behalf,” said Mr Seymour.
“The PPTA blog, Pigeonhole, has summarised the rationale for the union’s campaign of discrimination against all staff or trainee teachers associated with Partnership Schools. Its commentary is a welter of misinformation and inaccuracy.
“But there is one very revealing comment: ‘It’s perfectly legal to choose not to employ or work with people on the basis of their current employer – it’s the same as a business not wanting to sell something to a competitor because you don’t want to be copied by them’.
“The PPTA seems to think it operates like a business, in charge of our education system. It’s not. Taxpayers employ teachers with an expectation that they will work in the interests of children, not union ideology.
Taxpayers through the Government are the employers of teachers in the state sector, not the PPTA.
Why stop there? Will the PPTA also demand schools refuse to hire teachers who have ever worked at a private school? Or an integrated school?