NZ Herald 1 Feb 2012
Nearly 2000 primary school children were sent home last year following serious disciplinary matters – including 75 whose behaviour was so bad they were told not to bother returning. In many cases the disciplinary action was a last resort by desperate principals – not designed to teach the child a lesson but to get help for them or protect other students following violent, antisocial and occasionally sexually motivated behaviour. Figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act reveal that in the 11 months to November more than 21,000 school students faced serious disciplinary action. Of those, 1874 were aged under 10 – including 170 5- and 6-year-olds – and 75 were banned from returning to their school after going before the board of trustees for a disciplinary hearing….
Of the 1874 primary school cases in the year to November, 1602 children were stood down for up to five days before being allowed to return. A further 197 were suspended, usually indicating more serious behaviour, until they could go before the board of trustees. Of those students, the behaviour of 75 was so bad that they were formally excluded from the school – meaning they had to re-enroll at another school. While the figures provided for last year were incomplete, the numbers were on a par with 10 years ago. In 2001, 1963 primary-aged students faced serious disciplinary action.