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Nandor Tanczos won’t silence NZSTA’s concern

Media Release

Nandor Tanczos won’t silence
NZSTA’s concern for students


Green MP Nandor Tanczos has shown he has an arrogant disregard for the rights of others to express their opinions, says New Zealand School Trustees Association president Owen Edgerton.

His comments follow Mr Tanczos criticising NZSTA for starting a petition against the decriminalisation of cannabis.

Owen Edgerton says Mr Tanczos has every right to disagree with the stance of the petition. However, he does not have a right to question whether the petition should have been started in the first place.

“There wouldn’t be a person in the country who didn’t know Mr Tanczos’ opinion on the issue, and he has every right to publicly disagree with other opinions. However, it seems that he doesn’t think other groups or individuals should be afforded the same privilege.”

Owen Edgerton says an issue as important as this needs to be publicly debated, and every aspect should get a fair hearing. A petition is a legitimate form of expressing that opinion.

“It is important that the views of those who will be affected by the softening of cannabis laws are given the chance to speak up. Schools, boards of trustees and principals have already expressed concern on how it will affect students, and this is simply another way for them to get their point across to MPs.

“This goes beyond the political line. What it is about is making sure children have the best possible opportunities to get the most out of their school years.”

Owen Edgerton says NZSTA is not alone in its concerns, with the Education Accord, made up of 12 leading educational groups, recently voicing its opposition to decriminalisation.

“In a joint statement, the Education Accord said it was alarmed at the effects of cannabis on the young people of New Zealand, and urged MPs not to introduce legislation that will make these substances more readily available to young learners.”

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2/ Nandor Tanczos won’t silence NZSTA’s concern for students
He says the Accord pointed to research showing that the educational achievement of children and adolescents who use cannabis is severely compromised due to the physiological and emotional side effects of this usage.

Owen Edgerton says successive Governments have been extremely supportive of self-managed schools, and the boards of trustees have the right to decide what is best for their school community.

“It is well recognised that the 14,000 trustees have an excellent insight in to what is best for their students.”

He says the petition, which closes on September 20, has already had good support from schools.

[ends]

For further information contact Owen Edgerton.
Phone: (025) 441 397.


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