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Serious Attacks On Teachers Rise

Thursday 9 May 2002

Serious attacks by students on teachers increased by 16 percent between 2000 and 2001, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata revealed today.

The school roll grew by 0.6 percent.

In 2001, 493 children faced disciplinary action for attacking teachers. There were 149 attacks serious enough for the students to be suspended.

Manawatu-Wanganui had the highest rate for these attacks, followed by Canterbury and the Bay of Plenty.

"The classroom is becoming unsafe for teachers. The prevalence of attacks has increased along with suspensions for vandalism, sexual harassment and misconduct and alcohol offences. Overall suspensions for drug use did not decline.

"Sadly, these figures will highlight yet another reason why we're finding it impossible to keep good teachers in the classroom. ACT New Zealand believes the bureaucrats and politicians in Wellington have a responsibility to protect teachers in the classroom. We believe the abolishment of zoning and devolved funding to schools will allow each individual community to find the combination of policies that solves this problem, and will allow parents the freedom to take their children out of ghetto schools," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

Suspensions In State Schools

Attacks on Staff

Suspensions rose by 16 percent

2000: 128 cases, 2001: 149 cases

Worst Areas: Manawatu-Wanganui, Canterbury

Alcohol Problems

Suspensions rose by 15 percent

2000: 181 cases, 2001: 208 cases

Worst Areas: Northland, Hawkes Bay

Drug Problems

Suspensions were static

2000: 1553 cases, 2001: 1555 cases

Worst Areas: Bay of Plenty, Northland

Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

Suspensions rose by 10.5 percent

2000: 57 cases, 2001: 63 cases

Worst Areas: Canterbury, Manawatu-Wanganui

Vandalism

Suspensions rose by 37 percent

2000: 89 cases, 2001: 122 cases

Worst Areas: Canterbury, Manawatu-Wanganui

Ends

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