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Schools Forced to Prosecute Parents

Schools Forced to Prosecute Parents

Wednesday 12 Dec 2001 Donna Awatere Huata Press Releases -- Primary & Secondary Education

ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata today congratulated the principal and Board of Papakura High School for prosecuting parents of long-term truants, but condemned the Minister of Education for washing his hands of the children.

"While I congratulate principal Angela Appleby for taking this brave but necessary step, I am angry that Mr Mallard is leaving it to overburdened teachers to do his Ministry's job.

"Since Mr Mallard's election, the Ministry hasn't prosecuted a single parent for not sending their children to school.

"Parents are free to keep their kids at home fetching beer and cigarettes under this Government.

"It is immoral to expect our overworked educators to prosecute parents. Nor should we expect the under-funded police force to play social worker. It is clearly the Ministry's responsibility to prosecute.

"Yet the Education Ministry doesn't even have any employees trained in how to prepare, research or pursue prosecutions.

"Before he was elected, Mr Mallard was adamant that the Ministry should prosecute. In a press release titled, "Ministry Should Prosecute - Not Schools!", Mr Mallard said:

'I believe the Ministry of Education should take a more active role in ensuring all young New Zealanders are receiving their rightful education. Instead they seem intent on passing the responsibility onto schools - without passing on the resourcing to match.' (30 March 1997)

"Because of Mr Mallard's turnaround, principals like Angela Appleby are left with the burden," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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