Mentoring system for bullies to stop their bullying behaviour
Students showing signs of becoming bullies at South Taranaki's biggest school will be given mentors to steer them back to the straight and narrow.
The move is being put in place at the 762-pupil Hawera High School after an attack on April 13 that saw two year 13 students taken to hospital.
"One of the things we are trying to teach students is how to interact positively and appropriately with other people," principal Hans Konlechner said.
"It's a set of skills we all need to cooperate with others."
Konlechner described the incident as the most serious of its type in his eight years at the school.
"It's quite rare," he said. "It's not what you want to see at all."
The assault had followed on from a less serious incident late last year, Konlechner said.
As a result of the April 13 attack, the four students appeared before the board of trustees' disciplinary committee late last week and were also being dealt with by Hawera police youth aid.
One student from the group of year 10 and 11 students who attacked the two older boys had been excluded by the board.
Two others had been moved to the school's alternative education programme, which was held at another site.
A fourth student involved in the attack had returned to school.
Although the victims of the attack have recovered physically, they have not returned this term.
Konlechner said the school had already been working with the students on better ways of handling conflict, but there had been ongoing ill-feeling between some of the boys involved.
"There wasn't any particular trigger on the day, it stemmed from the earlier incident. Conflict between some of the same group of boys has bubbled up again."
Konlechner said had been buoyed by support from the community following the incident.
"If there is a positive to be found in this, that's it. We're talking with of some of the people who have offered help, and with their help we are looking at some mentoring for students."
He said the school had returned to normal with the start of a new term.
"I've been talking to students about it, they have moved on and the atmosphere at the school is calm and positive.
The school used a 'no blame' approach.
"We look at how things are going to be in the future, we try keep blame in the past. Sometimes situations have been existed for some time," Konlechner said.