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Turner alarmed at bullying of Asian students

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 15 June 2006

Turner alarmed at bullying of Asian students

United Future's education spokesperson Judy Turner is alarmed at the results of a recent survey which shows nearly a quarter of Asian students in New Zealand secondary schools are bullied or feel unsafe at school.

The Youth 2000 national survey conducted by Auckland Regional Public Health Service and Auckland University, shows that about a quarter of the 922 Asian students surveyed said they were bullied, while a similar number said they did not feel safe at school.

The study surveyed English speaking, New Zealand resident students rather than international students.

"I have frequently warned about the education sector-wide neglect of international students, and the lack of programs and investment to ensure their safety and success.

"This survey distressingly suggests that our educational culture also fails to provide a safe and productive learning environment for our New Zealand Asian students," says Mrs Turner.

"This highlights the fact that the needs of both New Zealand and international Asian students are not understood and are not being met.

"As the Government hands over $9.5 million attempting to stamp out bullying, I believe that we must concentrate on identifying at risk groups and broader issues relating to bullying.

"The focus must be on changing the culture of schools, supporting principals to make positive change, and helping to better engage Asian students with school care processes."

The study also claims that Asian students are less likely to report bullying.

"This shouldn't come as a surprise, but emphasises the need for Asian students to be given more attention in education then currently occurs," Mrs Turner concludes.


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