Fears over classroom safety

The Dominion Post 28 April 2007
A jump in the number of pupils being stood down for violence, disobedience and drugs has sparked new fears about classroom safety and disruptive behaviour in schools. The Post Primary Teachers Association is calling for more resources to deal with difficult pupils and for zero tolerance toward violence and abuse.Figures show the number of high school suspensions fell slightly between 2000 and 2005, to 3973. But standdowns – the temporary removal of a pupil for up to five days – rose 26 per cent to 15,440. Continual disobedience was up 38 per cent, drugs 55 per cent, assaults on pupils 37 per cent and assaults on staff 38 per cent. Sexual misconduct incidents rose 27 per cent, vandalism 47 per cent, verbal assaults on pupils 20 per cent, verbal assaults on staff 17 per cent and weapons offences more than doubled to 195 incidents. Alcohol-related standdowns dropped.