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

Scoop Editor "Ask me anything" : Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news