School gives reassurance on bullying

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 05:00 28/05/2014

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Waitaki Boys' High School's board of trustees is following "correct procedures" in relation to issues surrounding the school, parents have been told.

Information was sent to parents by the board after media inquiries and extensive publicity about complaints and concerns being raised about the school.

WBHS board of trustees chairman Garry McLeod said the school was currently following standard, recognised employment process procedures in relation to an incident involving a senior teacher, which took place on May 8.

"The board has accepted assistance from a New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) industrial relations advisor to ensure current procedures are followed."

He said further details were unable to be made public.

The school's board of trustees is also dealing with five formal complaints, received by the Ministry of Education and handed on to the school.

McLeod said only one of the complaints refered to bullying in a "general context", with no specific details provided.

"The board is again working with the NZSTA with these complaints."

McLeod confirmed there had been 10 suspensions at the school so far this year, with eight for continual disobedience at the school, one for theft and one for gross misconduct.

Correct processes were followed in each case. "Whilst dealing with these issues the board of trustees, management and staff at Waitaki Boys' High School remain focused on the drive for achievement and excellence of every student in the school," he said.

Nine students were suspended at Waitaki Boys' High School in 2013, but according to the Ministry of Education it is not necessarily a slight on the school.

Ministry head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the figures had not yet been finalised and could change. "Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions are not measures of student behaviour, but measures of a school's reaction to such behaviours," Casey said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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