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NZPF calls for media to tread carefully

NZPF calls for media to tread carefully
- New Zealand Principals’ Federation -

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) has called for the media to behave ethically and responsibly, following the death of Tokoroa teacher Lois Dear.

Ms Dear’s body was discovered by fellow teachers at Strathmore School on Sunday, and the story has been widely reported in news media throughout the country.

Pat Newman, President of the NZPF, says the thoughts of principals and teachers throughout New Zealand are with Ms Dear’s family, the staff, children and the Tokoroa community. “I understand that Ms Dear was an extremely dedicated teacher, held in high regard by students, parents and co-workers alike. Her death is a devastating blow, especially in a small community such as Tokoroa, where everybody knows everybody.”

The NZPF also firmly believes the media must show responsibility when reporting this story. “People must remember that on the whole, schools are generally safe places. Principals and teachers exercise care when on school grounds, regardless of whether students are present or not. Ms Dear’s death is a tragic single occurrence, and the media have no right to sensationalise this story and interpret Ms Dear’s death as a sign that every school in our country is unsafe,” said Newman.

Mr Newman said that while the media have a role to report the news, they should act responsibly, both for the benefit of the Tokoroa community and of the New Zealand community at large. “Strathmore School has many teachers and other staff, and well over 200 children, who are going through enormous trauma. Tokoroa should be left to deal with its’ grief, without the media capturing every move.”


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