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School bullying figures shameful

Media statement
For immediate release
Monday 15 December 2008

School bullying figures shameful

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says reports school bullying levels in New Zealand are amongst the worst in the world is a shameful disgrace.

“We know already of the appalling levels of domestic violence in New Zealand and are properly shamed by the fact that many of these victims are children,” said Mr Dunne.

“We’ve just passed legislation providing for tougher penalties for those who abuse children.”

“Now, these latest figures show how deep seated the problem of violence against children is, and that often schools can be as unsafe a place for an at risk child, as their home.”

“This is not something any civilised society can be proud of in any shape or form,” he says.

“More talk and hand-wringing will not solve the problem.”

“We need to be stepping up anti-violence campaigns at all levels - for the sake of our children we cannot afford to continue the way we are, just hoping things will improve, because people are talking about them more.”

“The culture of brutality that we have tolerated for too long has to stop. We need to be more actively supporting anti-bullying and character-education programmes in primary and intermediate schools; while promoting positive parenting programmes that do not rely on physical discipline.”

"We have no option but to intervene early to break the cycle of abuse.”

“These figures show that treating bullying as a passing phase that kids grow out of has failed - school bullies are the precursors of the next generation of domestic abusers or violent offenders and we have to stop them in their tracks now, before it is too late,” said Mr Dunne.


ENDS

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