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Suspected murderers should not be in schools

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

30 April 2006

Suspected murderers should not be in schools

Education Minister Steve Maharey should not make Tamaki College accept a student who has been charged with murder, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is commenting on media reports that say an Auckland family is hoping to see their 14-year-old son, who is on bail awaiting trial for murder, return to school tomorrow.

Mr English says Mr Maharey’s public comments on the case suggest that if the court relaxes the boy’s bail conditions he will enforce the child’s right to attend the school.

“Parents have every right to expect their children are safe at school and are not in the company of suspected murderers.

“Schools regularly have to manage risk around students with behavioural problems or a history of violence but this is pushing the boundaries to the extreme.

”If the Minister does make the school take the boy back, it will face a financial penalty for his one-on-one supervision. The school should not be penalised for wanting to ensure the safety of other students.

“The school system should not become a dumping ground for young people charged with brutal crimes. This young man should either be under the supervision of his parents or firmly in the hands of the youth justice system.

“Steve Maharey should back off and allow commonsense to prevail,” says Mr English.

ENDS

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