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Back from the Principal on smacking

I visited the principal of my children's school this morning to discuss the issue of my youngest child's class being asked by their teacher yesterday as to what happened to them at home if they were naughty.

The principal didn't seem disturbed by this but he's going to find out why the teacher asked. He didn't indicate whether or not he thought it was appropriate or not, and it seems there is nothing that can be done to stop teachers asking this question of children.

The upshot is, any person can report any child to CYF if they feel a child is at risk of emotional or physical harm. There is nothing the principal can do if a teacher decides that smacking constitutes physical harm and decides to report it.

As this is a Catholic school, I gave him a copy of the Bishop's statement (initially blogged by Mr Tips), containing the following key sentences:
However, we also recognise that alongside the need to protect children’s safety and wellbeing, there is also a need to protect the subsidiarity of families, which means government should not interfere unnecessarily with decisions that families are able to make for themselves. Family subsidiarity should be respected unless a child’s safety is at risk. We do not see minor and infrequent acts of physical punishment as putting a child’s safety at risk.
I also asked when it comes to a conflict between our faith and the government, what takes precedence in a Catholic school. He said for him, the faith would, but he knows of a number of Catholic school principals that would most likely report parents for smacking.

There are also school programmes for keeping children safe, and he thinks it's likely that smacking will be included in those programmes. That means, that school children will most likely be told that they are not to be smacked as this is harmful to them.

At this point, I'm not really sure what to do next, apart from waiting to see what the teacher's reason for asking was.

Right now, I'm very, very disturbed.


  1. Good on you for asking him!

    Actually, where the education act 1989 and the PSCI Act 1975 conflict, the PSCI takes precedence. I'm not surprised your principal steered clear of that one because it basically means that the Catholic character of a school is preserved by the PSCI. Brilliant move on your part to show him the Bishops statement as it shows him the stance of his proprietor ( I'm assuming its a diocesan primary school).

    He is correct on the new intepretation of CYFS powers. ANYONE, and that means ANYONE, can report what they consider to be a reportable incident to CYFS. What he didn't tell you was that YOU as a parent can also report what you consider to be inappropriate or reportable behaviour to CYFS BY THE TEACHER, as psychological abuse is also included. Yes, parents can dob teachers in too, especially if they feel their children are being made to feel uncomfortable.

    As Chair of our children's Catholic primary school BoT, I too am very concerned at this. I am probably more likely to be defending a teacher than I am a parent, even though I think the teacher has more of a case to answer.

  2. If you have any feeling at all that he was holding back on you then assume is of the type I described in the previous comments.

    He believes he has a right to decide what you can and can't do with your own children in your own time.

    This is why home schooling is a big growth industry in New Zealand and other western countries plagued by socialist indoctrination.

  3. We are not far away, I think, from children been encouraged to inform on their parents when they are suspected of infractions against the orthodoxy of a morally relativistic and socialist authority. Chilling.

  4. Am I crazy, or is what happened in Nazi Germany and various other despot states, particularly with dictators or communist leanings?

    I think you are absolutely right to be very, very disturbed. This comes hard on the heels of another report I heard on ZB talkback about two weeks ago when teachers were encouraging children to report on their parents.

  5. As a family represents specific loyalties,so a parent's love and loyalty of a child represnts something beyond government control and therefore a threat to its rule . This communist government is committed to destroying the family at all costs. Get as many parents in the noncustodial parent club now CYFS , police ,kids get FC file no. at six years of age , psycho's , sw's ,judges, lawyers , courts ..blah ..blah . On top that you got static from hateful Govt. agencies who hold zealously to the principle that there is no presunption of access to your children . Welcome to the feminazi machine on a mission from hell ! Stuff Klark/Key and thicko Braford .This is a very family unfriendly bunch of fwits.

    There is no higher principle than child/parent LOVE >>>

  6. Yeah, good on you mate.
    Home-education is the way to go.
    Of course, that's quite possibly the next thing on Bradford's list.

    I was home-educated from 10yrs old, am 20 now. Was the best thing that happened to me.


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