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ruler   :  Archive   :  1997   :  NZ Schools Apr 1997



School CP - April 1997

Corpun file 6813

Waikato Times, 23 April 1997

Reintroduce cane: school trustees head

The head of the Auckland School Trustees Association is battling to bring back the cane despite chairing the board of a school with an anti-violence policy.

John Riddell will push for corporal punishment in his final report as president of the association next month.

His comments have stunned Massey High School principal Bruce Ritchie, where Mr Riddell is chairman of the board of trustees.

The school has an anti-violence policy. Verbal or physical violence is not tolerated and any punishment is not physical.

Mr Ritchie yesterday stressed that Mr Riddell's comments were not made as a representative of the school.

"It would be wrong for us to advocate the reintroduction of corporal punishment. That's inconsistent with policies we're trying to present."

Mr Riddell said many schools spent an enormous amount of time and resources -- often unsuccessfully -- trying to discipline badly behaved students..

"Possibly corporal punishment may be effective for them where all the talk in the world won't be."

Education Minister Wyatt Creech said the chance of politicians reinstating corporal punishment was "probably zero".

New Zealand Principals' Federation president Marilyn Yeoman said the federation did not favour bringing back corporal punishment. "We believe children should be positive about school," she said.


Supplied by New Zealand Press Association

Corpun file 6803

The Dominion, Wellington, 24 April 1997

Advocate of corporal punishment caned

AUCKLAND School Trustees Association head John Riddell was universally caned yesterday for advocating a return to corporal punishment in schools.

Mr Riddell will push for corporal punishment in his final report as president next month, but was given six of the best from educational and youth aid bodies unanimous in their condemnation of his remarks.

Educational Institute president Bill Noble said the teachers' union had thought "barbaric methods of controlling children had ceased".

School Trustees Association president Janet Kelly distanced her organisation from Mr Riddell's stance.

She said his views did not represent those of the Auckland or national associations, which were united in their support for legislation banning corporal punishment.

"He is flying in the face of the law and we are appalled he should use his position as president of the Auckland association to try to advance his personal views," Ms Kelly said.

Youth Law Project education solicitor David Fleming said Mr Riddell "was out of touch".

"School trustees are meant to be there to help children. Mr Riddell seems to forget that. It is well recognised that people who are hit go on to hit others."

Principals' Association president Marilyn Yeoman said the federation did not favour the return of corporal punishment, despite increasing problems controlling children.

Independent Schools Council executive director Jan Kerr said corporal punishment was an anachronism.

At Massey High School, where Mr Riddell is board chairman, principal Bruce Ritchie said he was stunned by Mr Riddell's outburst. The school had an anti-violence policy; verbal or physical violence was not tolerated and any punishment given was not physical. -- NZPA

Supplied by New Zealand Press Association

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