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School CP - February 2002

Corpun file 8544


New Zealand Herald, Auckland, 5 February 2002

School uses parents to whack bad students

A private Christian school in Masterton has confirmed that parents are being called in to physically discipline students.

Homeleigh Christian School has finally received an Education Review Office report saying it complies with regulations that ban staff from administering corporal punishment.

Corporal punishment has been outlawed in New Zealand schools since 1990.

The ERO report said Homeleigh's policy in cases of serious offence was now to call parents or guardians to the school then leave them with the child "so the proper process of discipline may be carried out".

Board chairman and acting school principal Eeuwe Huizinga said the school introduced the policy so that it could fulfil "biblical requirements" for discipline.

The law prevented the school delegating that authority to teachers, so it had come up with this solution. It had not been the school's intention to find a loophole in the law.

Parents at the school believed that sparing children the rod spoilt them, and were all in agreement with the policy, Mr Huizinga said.

It was used for serious offences such as disobedience and blasphemy.

A member of the school board, Klaas Verbeek, confirmed that corporal punishment was administered by parents.

"The fact of the matter is that the parents are responsible for disciplining their children."

The school, with a roll of 32 children in years one to eight, was set up in 1989.

The ERO review services manager, Lane Mohi, said questions remained about the school's policy and whether it was applied consistently. She said the review office's view was that force should not be used.


Copyright 2001, NZ Herald

Corpun file 8650


Daily News, Taranaki, 9 February 2002

For a country strapped only in cash, this is a worry

THIS COUNTRY was built on beltings. The oldest citizens, men and women, can remember the thrashings they got from parents and teachers -- with the nearest broken branch, selected supplejacks, lashings of leather and a range of bamboo and malacca canes. Most are in the "fondly recalled" category, with the parallel admission that the whipping was thoroughly deserved, a well-taught lesson or, at least, standard practice. A few still bring a wince of pain at the injustice and unwarranted severity, with quickly suppressed memories of adult faces puce with rage, and lips with a lick of rabid foam. Legions of middle-aged boys, still the same 1950s, 60s and 70s lads inside bulkier frames and bald heads, once wore their canings with pride, notched into their school belts with the pocket knives they should not have had either. The greater part of the punishment was in waiting staunchly outside the teachers' common room while the ebb and flow of classroom changes passed, with knowing looks from the boys and snickers from the girls. If the recipient was lucky, with enough time and enough volunteers, he might be padded with a half a dozen pairs of his mates' underpants to soak up the hot stripe of fleeting pain. But the trick was always to never flinch and to try to remember, in the flush of anger and embarrassment, to look the teacher in the eye and thank him as insincerely as possible.

Looking back a generation and more, the transgressions that won canings were laughably minor compared with today's troublemakers -- repeated lateness, a trivial prank, a muttered or slipped oath, or some body-language insolence perceived by a teacher so pathologically excitable that he would not survive in the modern profession. And yet the puzzle of those generations -- of those countless rows of children who cupped their trembling little hands and danced their little legs to the strap from the earliest school days -- was that they did not become violent adults, seeming to belie the politically correct adage that corporal punishment breeds violence.

Since it was outlawed in 1990, the only way the country is strapped now is for cash, and an Australian development in the historical grievance business has the potential to bankrupt the country much faster than the Waitangi Tribunal. Paul Hogan (32, and not THE PH) got strapped when he was 13 for calling his Catholic school teacher a "black bastard". He got three whacks on one hand in the morning and five in the afternoon -- and $NZ3.1 million 17 years later in court-ordered compensation. It is currently under appeal, but private schools and the Education Department in New Zealand, where there is no statute of time limitations, should be quaking in their collective sandals.

Copyright, Taranaki Newspapers Limited 2002, All rights reserved.

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