Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


IHC files discrimination complaint over disabled students

IHC files discrimination complaint over disabled students

Media release 30 April 2014

IHC today filed a complaint with the Human Rights Review Tribunal to win equal rights for disabled students in schools.

High profile Queen’s Counsel Frances Joychild will lead the legal battle with the Ministry of Education. The Auckland barrister specialises in human rights and recently represented parents in the successful legal action over payments for carers of adult disabled children.

IHC’s complaint goes to the heart of the issue that has West Auckland’s Green Bay High School and the Ministry of Education struggling to resolve the exclusion of a 14 year-old boy with Asperger syndrome. The student was involved in a tussle with a teacher over a skateboard. In February this year the High Court overturned the school’s decision to exclude him.

IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant says the Green Bay case illustrates what can go wrong when a school doesn’t have proper support in place for a student with special needs.

Trish says IHC the Green Bay student is one of many in New Zealand facing discrimination because their schools don’t have the resources or systems in place to support students with disabilities. She says behavioural issues do occur, but disciplinary procedures are being overused instead of proper supports being put in place.

“These students are legally entitled to attend their local schools. If they are prevented from enrolling, or treated differently from their non-disabled peers, then it’s a human rights issue.”

But IHC’s beef is not with schools, principals or teachers. It has the Ministry of Education in its sights over the policies and practices in schools that lead to discrimination. “This is not anti-school, anti-teacher – this is pro disabled children’s rights to have their needs met,” she says.

Trish says many children experience unjustified discrimination in schools throughout New Zealand. Depending on the response from the Ministry of Education, the case is likely to be heard later this year or early next year. IHC is funding the legal action, which is expected to cost $350,000.

The legal action is being taken under Part 1A of the Human Rights Act which prohibits the government from breaching the child’s right to be free from discrimination. In this case the claim is about the child’s right to education.

IHC is not planning to put forward individual families as plaintiffs at the hearing. “We are the plaintiff – we didn’t want families exposed and pressured in this way.” However it will be putting evidence from families to the Tribunal about their child’s experience in the education system. She says human rights and children’s organisations are showing serious interest.

Evidence will also be presented from schools that will highlight the disincentives that exist to include disabled children.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: The PM’s Hair-Pulling Power Trip

There have been striking differences between (a) the account of the waitress involved in the hair-pulling incidents, and (b) the account being given by Prime Minister John Key. The version by the waitress is available here and is recommended to anyone yet to read it. By her account, there were multiple instances of hair-pulling and these persisted and persisted long after she had made her annoyance clear to Key – who had also been advised by his wife, and by other café staff that the behavior was evidently not being welcomed. More>>

ALSO:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news