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

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news