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Bullying worst nightmare

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

No parent wants their child to be the victim of bullying, it really is a parent’s worst nightmare.

But then again, no parent wants their child to be doing the bullying either.

Unfortunately, it goes on at every school, and always has.

Greytown School is currently going through a board of trustees process after allegations of bullying emerged recently.

An independent report on the incidents was sought by the school, and recommendations for fixing the issues put forward.

The mother of the alleged victim has now taken her son out of the school and enrolled him elsewhere.

She attended the board meeting this week where the report into the incidents was received, and said as her son was no longer at the school she was now more concerned about other children

“It’s admirable the board is following the recommendations to help the child doing the bullying, but I’m not satisfied my son would be safe if he was still there,” she said.

But like many incidents that emerge from the school playground, it is often difficult to ascertain exactly what happened.

There is always more than one version of events, and teachers cannot be everywhere and see everything, especially when the pupils are not in the classroom.

This is not to doubt that something took place.

The report acknowledges that the school needed to “put in place a range of measures to help stop [the accused child’s] aggressive and sometimes violent behaviour”.

To this end school seems to be doing the right things to sort out the issue.

As chairman of the school’s board of trustees, Alistair Plimmer, said yesterday, all of the recommendations advanced would be followed.

He also said the board had determined the current incident was not so much bullying as a learning disability.

That a child was taken from the school and enrolled elsewhere is unfortunate.

No parent should feel they have to take such a step to protect their child.

What is needed now is a concerted effort to make sure no such incidents take place again.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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