“Fat bastard” jibe sparks fuss about rights to education – but what about teachers’ rights?

So what should be done to a 12-year-old brat who called his teacher aide a “fat bastard” in front of classmates (after prevously being stood down for seven days for fighting with another student and accidentally elbowing a teacher who tried to break up the altercation)?

In the good old days a bloody good caning might have been appropriate, although expulsion probably would be better.

Ah, but it transpires this lad was spawned by a mum who has kicked up a fuss because he was suspended.

She is banging on about an abuse of his rights to an education.

But whoa there – when did publicly funded education become a “right”?

It’s a damned privilege, the way Alf sees it, and if you abuse the privilege, you lose it.

In this namby-world, of course, that opinion is regarded as seriously uncivilized.

The right to education accordingly has been enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

And the right to education has been reaffirmed in the 1960 UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education and the 1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The right to education is recognized as a human right and is understood to establish an entitlement to education.

According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights the right to education includes the right to free, compulsory primary education for all[1], an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education in particular by the progressive introduction of free higher education.

The right to education also includes a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not completed primary education.

In addition to these access to education provisions the right to education encompasses also the obligation to rule out discrimination at all levels of the educational system, to set minimum standards and to improve quality.

Bloody nonsense.

But it obviously explains why the mother of a 12-year-old kicked out of school claims her son has been unlawfully stripped of his rights to an education and is backing calls for a chance to appeal suspensions.

According to the Herald on Sunday, some outfit called Youthlaw will submit a report to the Ministry of Education this year calling for an appeals tribunal for students who have been excluded.

The newspaper says the the brat

…has been out of school for two months after he was excluded from Papakura’s Mansell Senior School for calling his teacher aide a “fat bastard” in front of classmates. Three months earlier, he was stood down for seven days for fighting with another student and accidentally elbowing a teacher who tried to break up the altercation.

His mother admitted her son crossed the line, but she insists he shouldn’t be deprived of education.

“When you’re out of school for so long it’s hard for you to get back into following routine, he is doing nothing and he is bored … he has got to the point where he thinks ‘I don’t need to go to school’,” [she] said.

Her complaints include the claim the school unlawfully excluded her son after failing to let a social worker attend what she thought was a meeting to discuss his special-education needs.

“I thought we were going to this meeting to put an action plan in place, I didn’t realise we were before the board for an exclusion meeting.”

Alf is astonished that the bloody system requires so much wimpish procedure in place of the bloody good caning that once would have taken care of things real fast. A cane doesn’t cost much, either.

But no. In our brave new world this abusive brat has been hard done by.

There’s not much place in this for the rights of abused teachers.

Youthlaw spokesman Ben Mills, rather, is saying the rude little bugger was one of many students who felt unfairly treated and were kept out of school for months.

“It was illegal to turn away the social worker … it is courtesy to let the school know they are coming, but that is no justification to breaking the law, you can’t turn people away,” Mills said.

Youthlaw appareantly has been compiling a comprehensive report supporting a plea to the Ministry of Education for an appeals tribunal for students unlawfully excluded.

The 41-page report says New Zealand is lagging behind England, Australia, Canada and South Africa on this matter, although it seems to Alf we have simply resisted becoming total pantywaists.

And dear, oh dear, this report brings a brat’s bloody rights into calculations.

“This appeals tribunal would guarantee that no student in New Zealand is deprived of their fundamental right to an education without normal justice,” the report said.

And the normal justice to which the teacher aide was entitled?

The HoS has come up with figures showing two students excluded in 2009 had still not been enrolled with a new education provider. More than 1000 students were out of school for at least one month, and 69 students were out of school for at least nine months following exclusions.

In this case, however, the boy apparently has been accepted into Papakura South School, although his mum is being bloody-minded – apparently – and still wants to appeal the exclusion.

“There are other children out there and we don’t want them to go through what we have gone through.”

So why isn’t she appealing?

Ministry group manager Jeremy Wood is reported as saying families of students excluded from school can appeal to the board of trustees in the first instance.

And if they feel disciplinary procedures have not been followed correctly, they can contact the Ombudsman or they can take the case to the High Court.

A final thought: it is costing we taxpayers around $12 billion a year to give kids a public education.

The notion of a “free” education is bullshit.

One Response to “Fat bastard” jibe sparks fuss about rights to education – but what about teachers’ rights?

  1. Cheri says:

    I work in disability – one of the most “PC” areas. Something we talk about a lot is the balance of rights and responsibilities as well as distribution of rights (one individual’s rights are not guaranteed at the expense of others and vice versa.)

    Education seems to be rife with these examples – the mis-application of one individuals “rights” to the exclusion of others rights and a blatant mis-interpretation of what “rights” actually are.

    This scenario in plain terms: boy hits another student and “accidently” elbows teacher aid. This is assault – on both counts. That student therefore loses his “right” to attend school. The other students have “rights” (the right to attend and be educated in a safe envrionment). The teacher aid has “rights” (the right peform their employment in a safe envrionment).

    Why is this happening? Basically a lack of understanding of what is an appropriate measure to take. Parents and teacher aid need to step up – stop fooling around with teachers and board of trustees complaints – make a police complaint, this is a criminal matter not an educational one. (Use the right tool for the right job!).

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