Schools are entitled to be rid of bad apples – and must be pipped off when they have to take ’em back

August 11, 2014
But beware of the brat who might have slipped a bit of cyanide into it.

But some students might have slipped a bit of cyanide into it.

Alf has been gobsmacked by the latest madness from the mandarins at the Ministry of Education.

He shouldn’t have been. Their madness is chronic and they can’t help themselves.

But now schools are being ordered to re-enrol some brats, delinquents and assorted ratbags they thought they were rid of because they were tossed out for bad behaviour including carrying weapons, physical assaults and drug use.

At least, that’s what we learn today from the NZ Herald.

In the past year, there have been 11 incidences where the Ministry of Education has directed a school to take back a student previously excluded.

The cases involved eight schools and students aged from 11 to 15, information released to the Herald reveals.

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A wacky idea? Not if you believe a disciplinary whack is sadly missing from modern classrooms

July 16, 2014


Alf is apt to avoid giving much credit to Australians, except to acknowledge their prowess at activities such as two-up.

But he makes an exception in the case of the Aussie who heads the Abbott government’s national curriculum review.

His name is Kevin Donnelly and he has backed the use of corporal punishment for ill-disciplined children in schools (although for some curious reason he says this must be supported by the local school community).

Alf learned here of this attempt to bring common sense back into schools and scrap namby-pamby methods that simply don’t work.

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Backing down on drug tests in schools would be good – but let’s hear it officially

March 14, 2013

Are we Nats backing down from opposing the use of sniffer dogs and drug tests on students?

Alf isn’t sure.

This issue hasn’t directly involved him and he hasn’t been chatting about it with his back-bench mates. Maybe he should.

If we are backing down, Alf will be delighted.

He is uncomfortable about going out to bat for policies he disagrees with.

And he can never enthuse at pantywaist policies for dealing with drug-taking brats.

But any suggestion we might be backing down comes from secondary school principals (here) and Family First (here).

Mind you, Mrs Grumble has limited research resources and might have missed more reports from the government or select committee.

The Secondary school principals told Radio NZ yesterday they were convinced the Government would abandon its opposition to the use of sniffer dogs and drug tests on students.

They have made submissions to the Education and Science select committee on the Education Amendment Bill.

Among the bill’s measures, it would prevent schools from using dogs and carrying out drug tests on students.

As Radio NZ explained, the Ministry of Education has said schools should leave drug searches and tests to the police and the proposed changes reflect the Bill of Rights.

The principals aren’t too happy about that.

Principals have told the committee that employing private firms to conduct searches and tests deters students from bringing drugs to school and gives them a good reason to turn down drugs.

Committee chair Cam Calder says he cannot comment because the committee is still considering the bill.

However, the Secondary Principals Association says it has been told the Government will change the clauses.

Its president Patrick Walsh says principals want a clear statement about what they can do to keep schools free of drugs.

Next thing you know, Family First New Zealand is welcoming a Government backdown.

They don’t seem to be waiting to find out if there is one.

“Schools need to be supported in their fight against drug use and dealing by young people – not disempowered. This proposed policy was dangerous because it would have made it far more difficult for schools to detect and prevent drugs being used, carried and distributed in schools, and would have created an unsafe environment for the whole school community,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Hundreds of students are being caught with drugs in high schools each year according to official figures, and principals have said that enhanced detection efforts are the main reason for students being caught with drugs. Why would we take away the ability for schools to create a safe environment?”

“Ministry of Education figures also showed that there are three times more drug incidents than ones involving alcohol at primary and intermediate schools. Once again, principals acknowledge that a zero-tolerance policy is the best response.”

McCroskie said parents and schools were trying to give children a zero-tolerance message on drug use.

Alf agrees with him that their efforts should be reinforced, not undermined and weakened, by government social policy and laws.

“We need to focus on the effects on health of using drugs, links with mental illness, high use by school pupils, driving under the influence of cannabis, and the progression from lesser drugs to more dangerous drugs like P,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Taking away a key prevention tool used by schools was a dopey approach.”

It is.

But let’s wait to see what the select committee has decided…

No, schools are not being chomped by bugs, but what was bugging our Nick?

August 8, 2012

Would Labour Party HQ in Eketahuna North stand being bugged?

Headline writers have led Alf astray yet again.

He was drawn to an item headed Winter bugs chomp into Oamaru schools (here).

Oh dear, he thought.

A ravenous form of termite has entered the country and Biosecurity Minister David Carter will be in the gun again. Labour and Greenie tossers are apt to get awfully antsy whenever a new creepy-crawly is discovered.

Mind you, this school-chomping rascal could be put to good use.

What if a bagful of the buggers could be collected and let loose – hey, what fun – in the local branch office of the Labour Party.

It wouldn’t take too many to chomp through the building, come to think of it.

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Don’t crack down too hard on school bullies – they could grow up to become the country’s leader

May 11, 2012

It looks like Australia has opened another gap on us.

But in more than one respect the matter at issue is not quite as the NZ Herald headline suggested.

It says “Kiwi schools falling behind in bullying”.

Alf was taken aback: does this mean other countries are better at bullying than we are?

And if so, is that bad for us – or good for us, in these namby-pamby times when poofs are getting married and brats who beat up their teachers are dealt with leniently but teachers who dish out a bit of corporal punishment are sacked?

But the bloody heading is misleading.

For starters, we are not falling behind with our bullying.

We are falling behind with measures in schools to combat bullying.

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You would boo who? Alf can think of more than a few worthwhile tossers who should qualify

November 14, 2011

He invites booing just for having a silly name.

A Labour Government will ban the selling of sweets and chips in schools…

Died Alf hear a big cheer go up on news of that policy?

Nope. It was booed by right-thinking citizens of Alf’s acquaintance as another example of the pinkos wanting to seriously widen the authority of the Nanny State.

Betcha you can think of something to boo, too.

Outside of politics, a loud boo was in order when Greg Chappell ordered his brother to bowl under-arm in that infamous occasion some years back.

Any time Quade Cooper gets anywhere near the ball while playing for Oz against a Kiwi team is worth a big boo, too, but only as an expression of disapproval of his silly first name.

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D is for “delight” as “dosh” is “diverted” from schools with the most “dropouts”

July 9, 2010

Alf anticipates great weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, in response to news that secondary schools in poor areas are likely to lose the most public money under changes to the way they are funded.

The first squawks are likely to come from the stroppy teacher unions, which can be counted on to take time out from flailing at national standards to denounce the funding changes.

But Alf personally sees great merit in what will happen, according to his understanding of the Dom-Post report, which is based on Budget documents.

Here’s what’s doing:

The Government has changed the way schools receive operational funding. From next year it will be based on the actual number of pupils schools have in each quarter, rather than on an annual estimated maximum amount. The move is expected to save the Government about $500 million a year.

Cabinet papers by Education Minister Anne Tolley said the change would have the greatest effect on low-decile schools, which tended to have higher rates of pupils dropping out.

They would also lose more funding per pupil because they got significantly more per head than schools in more affluent areas.

This makes great sense to Alf.

Pouring more money per brat into schools with the greatest dropout numbers is like a pig farmer pouring more swill into the runts of a litter to keep the scrawny buggers alive, rather than into the plump porkers that will bring home the bacon.

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Bugger the Bill of Rights – Tolley has got to empower school heads to flush out drugs and weapons

May 22, 2010

So who runs our bloody schools these days?

Oh, yes. The kids.

Alf’s perturbation at the extent to which the brats have taken over is reinforced by a report in the Dom-Post this morning.

The Education Ministry is advising principals of the ludicrous prospect of pupils taking schools to court if they are searched for weapons or drugs.

The privacy commissioner plays a role in this story (surprise, surprise). She is saying pupils should not be searched unless consent has been given.

Alf was astonished to learn this post was not abolished during the Government’s assault on wasteful public expenditure.

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A strapping idea with good support – legislate to restore the cane and bring discipline back into our schools

May 15, 2010

Welcome back, Wackford Squeers.

Alf takes heart today that we New Zealanders aren’t quite as daft as he feared in tolerating the sparing of rods and the spoiling of sprogs.

At least, not all of us are daft.

We learn today that – according to a national survey of 1000 people – half of New Zealanders support the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.

The poll, by Curia Market Research, asked: “Do you think a school should be able to choose to use corporal punishment, if the board, parents and principal wish to have this as an option for school discipline?”

Fifty per cent agreed, 44 per cent disagreed and 6 per cent were undecided.

The survey findings are timely. This was a week in which violent incidents in secondary schools and publicity about brats brandishing knives demonstrated the folly of banning the strap, the cane and the birch.

Alf actually fancies bringing back the stocks and the ducking stool for good measure.

The Herald reminds us that –

This week, maths teacher Steve Hose, of Te Puke High School, was stabbed four times in the neck and shoulder by a 13-year-old boy in Year 9.

Mr Hose was rushed to Tauranga Hospital and the boy was put in the care of Child, Youth and Family.

On Thursday, Hamilton Girls’ High School was locked down for about half an hour after a 15-year-old student walked into a classroom hunting for another pupil.

Police said the incident seemed to be in response to bullying.

The caning survey was conducted in March.

Alf reckons we who favour a good flogging for schoolchild miscreants would get even more support if it was conducted now.

Family First wants the results considered by the authorities and a review of silly anti-smacking laws that forbid corporal punishment.

Bob McCoskrie, the spokesman for lobby group Family First, claimed violent incidents in secondary schools this week were proof of a need for stricter punishments.

He claimed that the removal of corporal punishment had resulted in “more dangerous” schools that were tolerating an unacceptable level of violence and offensive behaviour.He claimed that the removal of corporal punishment had resulted in “more dangerous” schools that were tolerating an unacceptable level of violence and offensive behaviour.

Alas, the teaching profession is dominated by mamby-pamby do-gooders nowadays. Hence even if we parliamentarians did pass laws to permit corporal punishment, the buggers would decline to use the restoration of the cane to bring good old-fashioned discipline back into our schools.

The Pita principle: support national standards in Parliament, then worry about the consequences

February 2, 2010

Prime Minister John Key should be more pissed off with the shifting positions of Pita Sharples than with teacher unions, which he has criticised over their opposition to national standards.

He says – and Alf agrees – the unions are simply protecting under-performing teachers.

But the unions have been doing exactly that for as long as Alf can remember.

The shifting sands under Sharples are another matter. The bugger is the Associate Minister of Education, after all.

The Maori Party co-leader supported the enabling legislation when it was introduced to Parliament, let’s not forget.

Now (according to Stuff) he says he holds “grave fears” about new nationals standards, which will set benchmarks for reading, writing and maths.

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