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Let's Listen to The Principal

The speech is appalling. The reality is worse…

Virginia Crawford has been vilified for speaking truth into a dimly lit room that many of us would prefer to remain ignorant of. And New Conservative stands with the heart of Principal Crawford’s words.

“Truancy is not usually a cause of the pain and misery we see within the lives of our rangatahi,” says New Conservative Deputy Leader Elliot Ikilei. "Truancy is an indicator for us, whether parent, teacher, or youth worker. Truancy loudly proclaims that ‘something is broken or hurt inside me’. For every truanting child who has managed to become successful, there are far too many who have endured further damage and subjected the community to that same damage.

“If we do not listen and react to such a cry, then we cannot delude ourselves later with the common lament of 'slipped through the cracks of the system'”.

Once the emotional offence has subsided from Principal Crawford’s honesty, then the real work can begin, by focusing on an activity that is accepted to be an indicator of future success or failure by both academics and those on the front line.

And the fact that over the last two years, Māori and Pasifika students came in at just over 50% regular attendance in school, should be a wake up call in itself.

Instead of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on talking conferences, New Conservative stands for putting those valuable dollars into the hands of those on the frontline of pulling children out of truant behaviour.

We will reinstate charter schools, that had excellent levels of student attendance due to operational freedom. We will also bring in trade-streaming from Year 9 if desired, and our Justice and Family policies will ensure that the building blocks will be stronger and repaired from the damage caused from over thirty years of social experimentation.

This is one of the times where the front-line and academia are in agreement:

"Longitudinal studies of Christchurch and Dunedin children have found absence to be a strong predictor of violence later in life, and anticipatory of delinquency, substance abuse, suicidal risk, unemployment and early parenting."
SASR report 2018


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