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Bullying investigation

By Don Farmer
[email protected]

An allegation of bullying lodged by the parent of a Greytown School pupil has led to the school’s board of trustees initiating an investigation into what it describes as a “specific situation involving two pupils.”

Board chairman Alistair Plimmer said yesterday the school had received the formal complaint which had “escalated to the board of trustees.”

As a result the board appointed a former school principal as an independent professional to report back on the allegations.

The report has been done and will be discussed at a board meeting next Monday.

Mr Plimmer would not identify the gender of those involved in the bullying allegation but said the school has taken the complaint seriously and from the moment it was received had put steps in place to ensure the safety of both children concerned.

“First and foremost, our concern has been for the children.

“Our priority has been to make sure these two children have been kept safe, and continued on with their education while we’ve looked into it.

“The nature of the complaint has meant that on this occasion we decided it was best to undertake an immediate, independent investigation into both the bullying and the process the school followed.

“Our aim is to resolve this as quickly and smoothly as possible. The principal and board have undertaken to act on any recommendations the report makes,” Mr Plimmer said.

He said the school has so far followed its own clearly defined process for dealing with bullying allegations or incidents and the school’s complaints procedure, as well as the Ministry of Education guidelines.

In deciding to investigate it further, the Board engaged the independent, ex-principal “with considerable experience in this area” to undertake the investigation and work impartially with all parties concerned.

While the situation was concerning and disappointing there was no suggestion bullying was a wide spread problem at the school.

Behaviour issues had dropped significantly at the school since the introduction of the Ministry-endorsed ‘Positive Behaviour For Learning’ (PB4L) programme five years ago.

School principal, Kevin Mackay said the school is recognised for its exemplary success with the programme, and the change in the culture and atmosphere in the school has been nothing short of remarkable since it began.

“Sadly, there will still be occasional problems

“But we’re intent on identifying all the facts in this case, through the investigation, so that we can take appropriate action as required.

‘In the meantime, we assure parents that safety is paramount, and we are doing all we can to find out what’s happened and prevent bullying or any other problem behaviour at our school,’ Mr Mackay said.


  1. Bullying is a terrible experience and is unfortunately something that many children will witness. Well done to Greytown school for taking such a proactive stand on this issue. As the parent of a pupil, I have to acknowledge the quick and considered response that the school has taken. Well done to Kevin, Alistair and the teacher team.
    Whilst there is a least one victim of this issu, as a parent I feel reassured by the school actions.

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