Two teachers censured for pushing or pulling children – ‘We’ve got to a ridiculous stage’

TVNZ One News 31 January 2019
Family First Comment: The president of the Tai Tokerau Principals Association, Pat Newman, said the child falling to the floor was an accident and no parent would regard either of the two cases as a serious matter. “We’ve got to a ridiculous stage. I don’t think any of the politicians in Parliament when they passed the legislation that we’re governed under would have thought that we’d get to such ridiculous cases being held up and teachers losing their jobs, because one of them has resigned as a result of this.”
Correction – the politicians didn’t ‘think’. And we’re paying the price.

Two primary school teachers have been censured for pushing or pulling young children, reigniting debate about when teachers can and can’t touch their students.

The teachers’ disciplinary tribunal made a finding of misconduct against a teacher who pushed a 6-year-old toward his desk even though there was no malice or intent to punish the child.

In the other case a teacher pulled a 5-year-old out of his chair causing him to fall and resulting in a finding of serious misconduct.

The Tai Tokerau Principals Association said the cases should never have been heard by the tribunal, and the Principals Federation said it wanted a review of the rules that governed physical restraint of children by teachers.

The rules prohibited the use of physical force by teachers unless a student was about to hurt themselves or someone else and that excuse did not apply to either of the cases published this week.