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School exclusions 'archaic' claim Greens

School exclusions 'archaic' claim Greens

Green MP Metiria Turei has called for an independent body to combat draconian and potentially unlawful exclusions of students from high schools.

Otherwise, schools will continue to enforce punishment that does not fit the crime with little recourse available to parents and students who wanted to challenge that decision said Metiria, the Green Education spokesperson.

"Boards of Trustees and principals have gone too far by delivering punishment that even police consider to be over the top," said Metiria.

"The case of James Hargest High School in Invercargill is another example of a school acting outside its statutory authority and taking extreme punitive action against a student without legal or educational justification.

"It is essential that an independent body be established to review potentially unlawful decisions to exclude students.

"Parents and students have no avenues to challenge the seemingly unrestrained power of schools to deny a child their right to an education."

Metiria said many situations call for corrective education and counselling instead of nineteenth century attitudes that simply write a child off.

"The student and the family are the ones who suffer from such archaic methods of punishment through the loss of an education and alienation from the school community.

"While the school may feel satisfied that it has washed its hands of a problem student, it creates a far greater issue for the police and social services to deal with," said Metiria.

"It raises the question of whether schools are too interested in their own image than the care and education of their students."

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