Schools call cops 40 times a week

NZ Herald Mar 02, 2009

Police are being called to schools about 40 times every week of the academic year to deal with behaviour teachers say they cannot handle. Figures issued under the Official Information Act show officers were called out an average of 1531 times each year from 1998 to deal with violence, drugs or sex offences. Last year, they were called 1658 times.

The number of calls over violent offences jumped 27 per cent in the past decade – from 869 to 1064. Total school enrolments rose only 4 per cent from 2001 to 2009 and lobbyists say the rise in offences is alarming. Frances Nelson, president of the New Zealand Educational Institute, the union representing more than 48,000 primary and early childhood teachers and staff, said schoolchildren had become more violent in recent years.

…Bob McCoskrie, national director of the Family First lobby group, said it was time for action to protect students and teachers. “We have forgotten about the rights of law-abiding kids to feel safe, to not have disruption in the classroom, not be intimidated and be free of violence and bullying in the workplace.” Mr McCoskrie said he was concerned schools were discouraged from suspending or standing down their students but encouraged to bring in police officers fulltime.
READ figures obtained from the police by Family First NZ under the Official Information Act