Heather du Plessis-Allan: People unlikely to oppose push to turn away violent kids at school

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Mar 2021, 7:00AM
(Photo / Getty)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: People unlikely to oppose push to turn away violent kids at school

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Mar 2021, 7:00AM

I reckon there’d be widespread support for principals refusing to enrol violent kids in their schools.

This is the suggestion from the Principals’ Federation which has written to schools telling them to refuse to take these kids even if the Education Ministry directs them to. 

This stoush between principals and the Education Ministry has been brewing for a while because what is happening is that schools, as we know, are legally obligated to enrol a child that wants to be enrolled if that child lives in the school zone.

But some of the time, these kids have already been kicked out of other schools. And in some cases, for being violent to fellow pupils or even teachers.

Obviously, why would any school want violent kids? Teachers and principals already know exactly who that’s going to play out.

The kid’s going to be a problem that the new school just like they were at the last school, which means that child is going to take up all the teacher’s time with their bad behaviour, which means the other kids class time suffers and the teacher gets worn out dealing with nonsense. Of course you’d say no.

And schools have been adopting increasingly creative ways of turning the naughty kids away, including saying the class full, insisting on permanent addresses if they think the families are transient, then resisting.

And then being overridden by the ministry, who last year said that over just a couple of years, they had used its legal power to compel more than 370 schools to take kids.

Now the Principals’ Federation is advising the schools just to say no. Unless the ministry can commit extra support to the school to deal with the problem child, that seems fair and reasonable from the schools.