Inquiry into how schools respond to violence

The Dominion Post 03/11/2009

The Ombudsmen’s Office is investigating how schools and government agencies respond to bullying and violence. The investigation follows international research revealing a high level of incidents here compared with overseas. The rare step was sparked by parents of Hutt Valley High School pupils complaining about the actions of the school’s board of trustees, Child, Youth and Family and the Education Review Office after nine boys were violated by six classmates in 2007. Assaults at schools or universities – including knife attacks – continued to climb in the past year. Latest alleged incidents include:

..The Ombudsmen’s Office, which revealed the investigation in its annual report, cited a report made public in January showing New Zealand children had the second-highest reported incidence of bullying. The study, which investigated year 5 pupils in nearly 40 countries, including 5000 New Zealanders, found Kiwi children reported bullying incidents at twice the international average. A report by the children’s commissioner and Human Rights Commission in March found “glaring gaps” in the national guidelines that schools used to deal with bullying.