Censured for carrying struggling child

File photo.

A teacher who carried a struggling child to a school principal's office has been found guilty of misconduct despite being in a difficult position, the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal says.

The tribunal's decision said the teacher intervened after four distressed boys complained the child had dragged them through mud and grass and thrown stones.

It said the teacher asked the boy to explain what had happened and when he did not, told him to go to the principal's office.

At one point the student started to walk in the wrong direction and the teacher put his hand on the child's shoulder and steered him towards the office.

Near the office the student shouted and tried to run away but the teacher caught hold of the student, who struck the teacher.

The student then grabbed metal bars near the staff room and the teacher prised his fingers free.

"Student A then attempted to duck down under the bar and run away from the respondent. The respondent put both of his arms around Student A's waist, picked him up and carried him to the Principal's office."

The report said the teacher was in a difficult position because the boy had a history of behavioural problems and might have hurt others.

"We find that the combination of Student A's behaviour on that day and his known history placed the respondent in a difficult situation in determining the best intervention to protect other students from physical and emotional harm," the tribunal said.

However it said physical force was unacceptable in schools and any teacher who used physical force contrary to regulations put their status as a teacher in peril.

The report said all parties agreed the teacher's actions added to the student's distress and that the teacher had used force to correct a student's behaviour.

It said the teacher's behaviour did not lower the standing of the teaching profession and did not constitute abuse, but it did amount to misconduct.

The report said the teacher had since relocated to the UK and had no plans to return.

The names of all involved and of the school were suppressed in order to protect the identity of the child.

-RNZ



34 Comments

@ Morepork

Posted on 23-11-2017 09:42 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You are right, for example the anti-smacking laws are silly, they are the Government making the laws for parents when parents on the whole know best. Obviously the law does not stop situations like the Kahui twins, no legislation will and of course in such a situation the Law/NZ Police will then do their job, yet to happen. The alternate is that kids run riot due to lack of partental control and guidance as it should be. To think otherwise is merely adding more silliness to the nanna state concept that is and always has been a compelte failure before it was even throught of.

Well you answered one question Morepork,

Posted on 15-11-2017 16:34 | By R. Bell

but not the most important one. I repeat " what long term damage is done to the child?" I disagree with your opinion regarding parental discretion. Most parents have total control over their children. Most of those exercise common sense. The ones who don't, are the ones who need control, BEFORE the fact, not after. Hence the law. The rights of the child are paramount. No parent suffers as a result of this law. Children have protection under this law. Go talk to Womans Refuge, they will tell you violence repeats, they oppose all violence. There are many laws that impinge on personal freedom, to claim they are ineffective or totalitarian is nonsense. Sorry. Robin Bell.

Answering question from Robin Bell.

Posted on 15-11-2017 14:06 | By morepork

Robin wrote: "You have not yet given your answer to the problem of control i.e who decides on what level of violence is acceptable in the upbringing of our children? ...I suggest it is far better to control the actions of the adult. " 1. Parents decide; it's part of the "job" of parenting. "Controlling" adults is called "Totalitarianism"; you can encourage and guide, but you cannot mandate. Anything that attempts to legislate matters of opinion (like parenting...), is simply repressive. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought are axiomatic in a Democracy; people have a right to their opinions, provided they do no harm to others by their actions. 2. I inferred your position ("Violence is bad") from: "strict control on violence is indisputable..." I dispute that because "violence" is not preventable in any meaningful way, by legislation, and sometimes it is necessary. As it was here.

Thank you Morepork,

Posted on 14-11-2017 08:28 | By R. Bell

Your honesty in this instance, is appreciated. My 'personal attacks"are reserved for those who unfairly and unjustly attack others, missy the most guilty, hence his dislike of my style. In your last post to me you make claims that also need addressing. I have never said "violence is always bad". In fact in a former life I indulged in violence often. I was sanctioned by society and it did not ruin my life, rather it helped me understand the need for control.I have no "blanket" position. You have not yet given your answer to the problem of control i.e who decides on what level of violence is acceptable in the upbringing of our children? What long term damage is done to the child? I suggest it is far better to control the actions of the adult. Robin Bell.

@Miss Adventure

Posted on 13-11-2017 14:15 | By morepork

Thank you for your support, but let's be fair to Robin. There was no personal attack in his post (and I am more than capable of handling "ad hominem" attacks should they arise...) You made a very good point regarding the way that susceptible people can easily have their opinions bent and then everybody "goes with the flow". Modern society and the media available have made this possible and all of us need to be able to stop and think for ourselves; what our position on an issue is, why we hold that position, and be able to change it in the light of new evidence or a compelling argument. Forums and discussions like this one can stimulate that process, but if debate becomes just tub thumping an entrenched belief, without healthy reasoned argument, then no minds can be changed and there is no point in posting.

@Robin Bell

Posted on 13-11-2017 13:59 | By morepork

You conveniently ignored the fact that this kid actually hit the teacher (apart from the action against other kids...). The teacher showed restraint in not hitting back (a normal instinctive reaction). It's good that you see your family as raising better kids without smacking but it is not relevant as an argument here because there is no control group (we can't know whether the same result would be achieved if they HAD reserved the option to smack.) Good parents raise good kids whatever options they take. You dismiss the censure on the teacher, but if you were that teacher, and your career was now stained, you might feel differently. The problem I have with your "blanket" position ("Violence Always Bad") is that life is NOT black and white. We can agree that "violence is generally undesirable" but there has to be room for common sense, judgement, and responsibility.

predetmined mindset

Posted on 13-11-2017 01:18 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That simply results from simplistic and easy bent minds being programmed to respond in a set way to anything different to that programmed in already. The answers and responses are totally predicable and consitent with this. Perhaps another well known other example of the same treatment process have been recorded in history, a couple of recent examples are Jim Jones camp and Wayco.

@ Morepork

Posted on 12-11-2017 12:38 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Absolutely correct, Robin as usual has some naive oblique view of the world. I am sure that much is obvious, it is indeed rare to see anything else from that quarter. Your views being different to that desired by Robin means he attacs you personally, a simple scenario. Robins links to certain sections of NZ/TGA society provide a clue to the predetmined mindset that he exhibits.

@ m1keh

Posted on 12-11-2017 12:22 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Agree totally, the complaint is probably from the parents of the kid carried. Stupid isnt it ... what about the other three kids, parents and harm done. The whole world is gone completely PC stupid.

The purpose of legislation Morepork,

Posted on 12-11-2017 10:44 | By R. Bell

is as much about guidance as enforcement. In that respect Nanny State has its roll to play. We can never force people to change, but we can establish guidelines to follow, thus achieving the good society you crave. To my knowledge the Police have discretion, That in itself is a compromise. Violent sports have strict rules, another compromise. No such compromise can be allowed when children's values are at stake, without the rule of law. Robin Bell.

Needless to say Morepork, I disagree,

Posted on 12-11-2017 08:22 | By R. Bell

Strict control on violence is essential in an orderly society. Call it "nanny state" if you will, but control has to be seen as fair and just. Prising a determined grip from iron bars without using undue force is nigh impossible and suggests the teacher was trying to forcefully pull the child. You are wrong about my opposition to the use of force,but when I look at the young parents in my family (who refuse all forms of force) to discipline their children, driven by societies condemnation of it, I see a better way, and better adjusted children and parents. You exaggerate the censure on this particular teacher. It was a censure, nothing more. We, can take the necessary action on abuse because we have the forces to do it, most I'm sure would agree that is where force should apply. Robin Bell.

The thing about violence.

Posted on 11-11-2017 13:02 | By morepork

After reading Robin's post I thought some more about this. Robin, like many, believes that violence is NEVER acceptable and must be "Strictly controlled". I have TWO problems with this: 1. There are times when violence IS not only "acceptable" but necessary. You don't stop people like Adolf Hitler, for example, by asking them nicely not to invade your country... Sometimes the forces of "Good" have to use violence against the "UnGodly" to prevent the World from descending into chaos. 2. You CANNOT "strictly control" violence without getting undesirable results, as may easily have happened in the case in point. It isn't black and white. As such it requires judgement and "common sense". We can agree it should NEVER be a first option, and also that it is not a desirable outcome, but, if there is no alternative, it has to be an option.

@Robin Bell

Posted on 11-11-2017 12:51 | By morepork

It is always good to have dissent in threads such as this, and I respect your right to your opinion. But on this occasion, I vehemently disagree with you, Robin. No amount of "Nanny State" will make people better parents or teachers. If an adult doesn't know when to NOT use force or what amount of force is appropriate, there is no legislation that can enforce them. MINDS have to be changed before actions can change; you cannot legislate it except in the most general way. While he was "walking to the Principle's (sic) office" kids were at risk from the kid who was causing the trouble. The immediate danger needed to be suppressed, and that was what was done. Also, the message that teachers have authority and it will be respected, was simultaneously reinforced. This teacher behaved very well and the final outcome is just shameful.

Common sense Morepork, or common prejudice.

Posted on 11-11-2017 08:37 | By R. Bell

The purpose of strict control on violence is indisputable, for very obvious reasons. Leaving the measure of how much is acceptable open to individual interpretation can never work. The teacher in this article had a choice. He / She took the wrong option. Rather than walk to the Principles office to inform the boss, the teacher reinforced the notion that bullying is acceptable, to an obviously disturbed young mind. You are correct in one thing, adults (some) have always used force, but when its against a child with no legal protection, it is often tantamount to abuse of the child. Robin Bell.

Discipline in schools.

Posted on 10-11-2017 13:29 | By morepork

The general consensus of this thread that this is a "load of bollocks" is spot on. We wonder why there is a general decline in the behaviour of our society and the answer is that it starts with the rising generation. "Discipline" is an emotionally charged word with negative overtones of violence. And yet WITHOUT discipline, nothing gets achieved. Teachers (and parents) should be given back the legal right to discipline their children; it doesn't always require force or violence, but that should be an option available for judicious use. As a sometime teacher I was taught that if you keep them "interested and busy" you won't have discipline problems. It's true... I never caned or strapped a kid during my time teaching. But that does not address the case in point and if a kid hits a teacher, it cannot be allowed to end well for them.

This is just nonsense.

Posted on 10-11-2017 13:19 | By morepork

The fact that a Teacher gets censured for doing what common sense indicates is the right action, just shows the pathetic state of our Education system. "Teachers cannot use force"? Adults have ALWAYS used force to discipline children. It is what works and is sometimes required. Children need to learn to respect the authority of an adult for their own safety. If a parent or teacher tells you to do something, it has to be clear that "resistance is futile"... The problem we have is that a politically correct society has sought to legislate the use of force because a tiny minority of adults misuse it, and thrash or beat their kids as a matter of course. The legislation is ridiculous and should be revoked; the people it is aimed at don't respect the Law anyway. This teacher was right and should be commended.

Disciplinary Tribunal at fault

Posted on 09-11-2017 20:32 | By m1keh

The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal should apologize to the teacher concerned and strike this ruling from its books. This ruling will now affect this teacher's employment prospects wherever he goes.I wonder who made the complaint. Not the school, surely!

Known bad behaviour?

Posted on 09-11-2017 17:01 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Obviously the other three kids being bullied and physically attaked has not been dealt with, yet the teachers proper and best actions to separate the misfit from the rest and seek disciplinary help via the Principal is being criticised as the wrong thing to do. Pray tell how to you stop bullying what a kid is being defiant doing to opposite of that asked by the teacher? What message does this send to any bad kid, no discipline illustrated here ... so the bad behaviour continues and is rewarded.

Nonsence

Posted on 09-11-2017 16:31 | By Kaimai

If my child was one of the complainants I would have done more - and the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal would have no effect on me - a judge maybe.

golly gosh

Posted on 09-11-2017 16:28 | By old trucker

Me TINKS bring back the cane and strap,it did not hurt us, i grew up when the cane and strap come out, it makes you think about things differently after a whack,too many DO GOODERS out there now,cant do this cant do that,yeah right,send them over to me and they would be different kids on Monday, (but hang on ) not allowed to give them a whack, like my dad said when he gave me a whippin theres plenty of meat around ya bum, and give me another whack for good measure,ive grown up with the best manners because of this and now older i cannot stand checky little devils that answer you back,im PROUD OF THIS TEACHER,and should be given a MEDAL, This little thug hit the teacher, its the parents that need a whippin as well ,my thoughts ONLY on this,Sunlive Thankyou,10-4 out,phew.

Kiwioldie

Posted on 09-11-2017 14:53 | By dbs4me2

PC gone mad again. No wonder the country is short of teachers. In my day, a quick whack on the butt with the cane would have worked wonders. No way would I be a teacher now-a-days.

out of control kids

Posted on 09-11-2017 14:22 | By missusmck

Ifeel sorry for the teachers today .they're darned if they are and they're darned if they don't.no wonder that society is paying for this now.if the child had a history of bad behaviour then why the he'll was the teacher disciplined..no wonder the teacher has left the countrywonder what sort of adult the kid is going to grow up like

Child safety in schools

Posted on 09-11-2017 14:20 | By m1keh

It would be interesting to know how each of the members of the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal would have reacted in this situation to ensure the continued safety of the other pupils and the aggressive child as well. How would they have prevented the child from, say, running away from the school? I think this teacher was put in a no-win situation and behaved sensibly. Mike

Helios

Posted on 09-11-2017 14:19 | By Helios

The current PC system has gone crazy. With increasing abuse between students any intervention by a teacher should be rewarded not negated by the need to comply with a ridiculous guidelines imposed by academics. Pity he left this country as we need more of this type of action to get some sense and responsibility by a faction of unruly kids. Thanks to some politician we now face this.

More to come

Posted on 09-11-2017 13:30 | By Hunterway

I wonder how the idealist tribunal will rule when the complaints from the four boys parents as to the safety of their cooperative children from disfunctional attendees allowed to maraud unchecked in the school is heard. One for OSH perhaps.Successfull parent

I'm out of here...

Posted on 09-11-2017 13:15 | By clingon

With rules and regulations like that no wonder the teacher bolted- back in the day we would have got a cuff around the ear, a couple of whacks with the cane and then sent home to explain to parents- 'spare the rod....'

Censured Teacher

Posted on 09-11-2017 13:11 | By Denny G

This is the "Do-Gooders " gone to far. This is madness - action taken to prevent other people from being injured ?

And if the teacher...

Posted on 09-11-2017 12:45 | By GreertonBoy

Had let the kid go and he ran under a bus, or the kid ran away and threw a rock at another student and injured that student, the teacher would have been in the wrong too... it sounds to me like the teacher deserves a medal and the 'child' (aka little thug) needs sorting? If society keeps going the way it is heading, pretty soon no one will want to be teachers for fear of having no control nor authority over out of control children.... and being unable to act. So, what has 'those in charge' decided WAS the APPROPRIATE action the teacher SHOULD have taken? How does a modern teacher control today's children? Should he have simply turned his back and let the kid do what it wanted? Welcome to the new world....

Censured for dealing with difficult child??

Posted on 09-11-2017 12:31 | By Val.M

All this teacher was doing was trying to diffuse a difficult child! Unbelievable! How else was this teacher to protect the others? Is time children were made responsible for their bad behaviour, other wise they will keep on with it knowing that they can get away with it. My husband left teaching because of this very sort of thing!

What a load

Posted on 09-11-2017 12:13 | By Seemore

of PC bollocks. No wonder the better teachers get disillusioned and leave.

It seems they can't win

Posted on 09-11-2017 11:02 | By Border Patrol

It sounds like the child concerned had some pretty significant behavioural issues. It's a balance of this student having an education against the safety of the other pupils. The flip side of this was in the news recently with a mother complaining about her son with "behavioural issues" being expelled from school due to his behaviour towards other pupils. Who would be a teacher nowadays?

Teachers are...

Posted on 09-11-2017 10:25 | By penguin

...damned if they do and damned if they don't. Look dispassionately at the situation...1. the overall welfare of their own class 2. the safety of the teacher 3. the need to often make split second decisions involving the errant pupil 4. weighing up the consequences to themselves by making the ''correct'' decision and so on. In today's environment the teaching role is fraught with fishhooks.

PC

Posted on 09-11-2017 10:04 | By Capt_Kaveman

BS andone has the right to restrain anyone child or not if they have grounds others could be at harm, that is the law

Behavior

Posted on 09-11-2017 09:00 | By Raewyn

I think the teacher did the correct thing!

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