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The Mad Hatters are now in Control of our Classrooms

The Mad Hatters are now in Control of our Classrooms

5 year olds are ruling classrooms since Ministry Guidelines on restraint implemented says principals

A teacher is not even allowed to lift a 5 year old up and carry them out when they throw things and in the middle of a tantrum now. Instead we are supposed to leave them and remove all the other children!” says Pat Newman President Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association.

“A child can be utterly destroying a room, and all the other children’s work, and the same applies” he continued. “Its cuckoo land!”

- last year we identified 1079 children(primary) at the top end of behavioural concerns due to unresolved trauma and abuse suffered

- where P is rife in some areas and in most schools to quite a degree

- where we can claim to have the highest suicide rate for our young compared to the rest of NZ

- where we have a huge number of very small schools in very isolated areas, in very low socioeconomic communities.

and what help did we get?

- Counsellors…. No

- Mental health Facilities to cover needs …. No

- Sufficient staffing to ensure the safety of staff and children from other children……. No

- Access to absolutely required resources/resourcing……No


- Guidelines on restraint!


- made it far harder for us to ensure the safety of all children and staff!

- Given us little option but to stand down or (I still call it) expel in many cases

- Handed over control of our schools to any child that wishes to push the boundaries and knows the rules.

That was really helpful wasn’t it…………

Tomorrow in Wellington a meeting is being held at the Ministry of Education to review these Guidelines. We can only hope and pray that those making the decisions actually apply common sense for once, to the problems we are

None of us want to use restraint and to be honest only do it when necessary.

Pat Newman


Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association

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