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'Disgraceful': Principal disgusted after young student called racial slur after rugby game

Author
Benjamin Plummer,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 May 2024, 12:18pm
Wainuiomata Intermediate School principal Craig Sharp says one of his students was racially abused following a rugby game. Image / Google Maps
Wainuiomata Intermediate School principal Craig Sharp says one of his students was racially abused following a rugby game. Image / Google Maps

'Disgraceful': Principal disgusted after young student called racial slur after rugby game

Author
Benjamin Plummer,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 May 2024, 12:18pm

A Lower Hutt principal has publicly addressed an incident in which one of his students was racially abused following a rugby game at the weekend. 

In a post to the Wainuiomata Intermediate School Facebook page on Monday morning, principal Craig Sharp said a Samoan student was subjected to abuse at the end of a match. 

Sharp said when players were shaking hands, the student was called a racial slur and told to “f*** off”. 

The student was understandably very upset and in tears after being subjected to the unprovoked attack, he said. 

“Unfortunately, it could not be resolved or even addressed as his teammates didn’t feel safe to disclose the detail of the incident until they were all on their way home.” 

Sharp said the incident was “disgraceful” and that not addressing it “would be minimising the conduct”. 

“We could try to convince ourselves that this was an isolated incident by a racist student and out of school, but we would be minimising the conduct and we would miss an opportunity to educate and support all of our students,” Sharp said. 

“Racism is a massive issue but as a school we are required to provide a safe space for our students and need to ensure our tamaiti are confident enough to speak up should they or their peers be subjected to this sort of abuse.” 

Sharp said the school was utilising resources on the “Unteach Racism” and “Anti-Racism” websites to help manage the situation and encouraged families to make themselves familiar with the material to support any questions their children might have. 

“It is also a ‘heads up’ to whānau that you will be contacted if your tamariki is involved in any acts of racism and we will remove students from the classroom or playground if they are racist at school.” 

The school has been approached for further comment. 

Benjamin Plummer is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He has worked for the Herald since 2022. 

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