New Zealand is a Bullies Haven

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, if you come any closer, I’ll break your face”:

Reported by the Herald. First conclusion: the principal is a loser:
College principal John Grant denied the matter was part of any bullying problem.

“The matter is not school bullying, it is assault. Two girls gave into their impulses and committed an assault and an adult gave into her impulses and committed an assault”.¬†

He is right about the mother, but the principal is trying to wriggle out of his school being labeled as having as having a bullying culture. If you have two individuals attacking another, that fits the definition of bullying. Even if it was the first such incidence. A more appropriate response would have been: ” It’s important this incidence is met with a united response from parents, the board and staff to prevent a bullying culture from taking hold in the school. Bullying is contagious and a “nothing to see here”, approach will only encourage it to flourish”.

 The board is colluding in this denial. From a previous story:

Mr Grant said while he was “always disappointed when students end up fighting” it was difficult to prevent such incidents, which he described as rare.
“These things happen. They happen in the adult world and in the adolescent world,” he said.
Board of trustees chairman Stanley Phillips agreed.
“Kids are kids. Things get blown out of proportion by kids _ we have to let the police and the principal of the school do the investigation but we are aware as a board of society’s concerns of violence and Facebook and text (bullying),” he said.
Student behaviour was increasingly getting worse throughout the country, but it was difficult to prevent such incidents, especially those that took place outside school grounds, said Mr Phillips.
“What can you do about it? We can only do our best.”

The school are investigating the incident with police and would resolve the issue by the end of the school term, which was likely result in standing down or suspending those involved, said Mr Grant


Bullying is common all through New Zealand culture. It is hard to identify and harder to deflect. The usual approach is to ignore it and perhaps that is why most of the emails to the Herald were in support of the mother, as scary as her actions would have been to all the children involved.   
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