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Unprecedented State Control of New Zealand Youth

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Youth

Unprecedented State Control of New Zealand Youth

Libertarianz education spokesman Phil Howison today slammed Helen Clark and John Key's mirror-image plans to nationalise New Zealand teenagers.

"Forcing students to stay at school until they are 18 will cause unruly classrooms, bored students, stressed teachers and an increased burden for taxpayers" says Libertarianz education spokesman Phil Howison. "It is essentially an admission of defeat for state education. If eleven years in state schools leaves most students unemployable, what difference can adding two years make?" Howison asks.

"Clark and Key have come up with plans combining the worst excesses of Nanny State. Add to it the plans to screen toddlers for 'anti-social behaviour', schools such as Westlake Boys High School which hold back even academically gifted students for a year if they have a 'bad attitude', and the threat of boot camp for students who refuse to comply, and you have the blueprints for unprecedented state control of New Zealand youth."

In her attempt to cram reluctant learners back in the classroom, Clark also condemns those who actually want to be there to disruptive and unruly classrooms. "Students who are hostile towards their compulsory schooling usually end up being disruptive and lowering the quality of the learning environment," Howison says, pointing to Hutt Valley High School as a particularly grim example. He also laments the unnecessary stress that will burden teachers as they struggle with classroom discipline, becoming babysitters rather than educators. "Forget about Key's boot camps - schools these days seem to be just as rife with violence, bullying and substance abuse as the prisons. But all teenagers, not just youth offenders, are forced to attend!"

The extra $150 million of taxpayer loot that Clark is prepared to spend on turning schools into prisons will hit the taxpayer where it hurts again. "Clark's scheme will take many young people out of the workforce where they are learning to be self-sufficient and productive, leaving them with no choice but to accept government handouts" says Howison. "And Key's plan is no better. By supplying government funding to even more tertiary courses, he would extend government control of higher education, leaving a mere facade of private ownership while leaving the door open for waste and abuse."

"The first step of the Libertarianz transitional education policy will be to lower the compulsory school leaving age to zero. In a free society, all interactions including the decision to stay at school must be voluntary. To help young people gain meaningful employment and encourage private apprenticeships, Libertarianz will remove minimum wage laws and make the first $10,000 of income tax free," Howison says. "Libertarianz believe in the separation of school and state, allowing new methods, subjects and ideas to evolve in a free market system."

"It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!"

ENDS

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