Waikato Times 9 August 2008
Waikato principals say a generation of “P babies” coming through the school system has alarming behavioural and learning problems. There has been a 37 per cent increase in disciplinary action against primary school-aged children in the past year including suspensions and stand-downs according to Education Ministry figures. Hamilton’s Deanwell School principal, Pat Poland, said schools were seeing higher numbers of misbehaving children, because of the methamphetamine (P) epidemic.
“Some of the five-year-olds coming in are very low functioning,” she said. “Their parents have used P and they have low levels of language, they’re talking like two-year-olds, (have) a low ability to concentrate, and very poor behaviour.” He and other principals had noticed the trend and discussed it. “I think it’s going to get worse as we have to manage these children from P families, unless there’s adequate support offered from the Government in the form of social workers in every school or a counsellor.”