In Western society we have group of people determined to re-write our language and in doing so determine what words that they think are acceptable as well as re defining the meaning of words. In America part of this group have come up with a new classification of speech that they “racial micro-aggressions.” We are rapidly moving towards a time where people will be scared to open their mouths least they be accused of ‘ hate speech.’ In fact I think that we are already there and now it is just a matter of the screws getting tighter and tighter.
After the story of the Student teacher hit the headlines I approached three politicians for comment and their responses are below. Two of them have a common belief in a ‘fair go’ for the Student teacher which is heartening to see.
Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Education, Chris Hipkins
I don’t comment on specific employment matters.
On the general issue, I would expect all trainee teachers to be given full support to complete their qualifications. They should not be discriminated against based on gender, race, sexuality, past employment, or future employment prospects.
– Chris Hipkins
On the PPTA Blog I asked the following questions:
Given the PPTA’s stance on how to treat a student teacher if he is employed by a Charter school what does this mean for all the teachers currently employed by Charter schools?
Do the PPTA intend to blacklist from employment in State schools every single teacher who has previously worked in a Charter school?
Will they pressure State High School Principals and BOTs to not interview or employ teachers who have previously worked in a Charter school or will they be welcomed back to the PPTA-approved fold?
Remember that the majority of teachers currently working in Charter schools have previously worked in State schools and have paid union fees in the past.
I received the below response.
PPTA members will decide on the basis of this conference paper.
After reading about this story I contacted the Ministry of Education by e-mail and asked them the following questions.
- Can you please tell us what action if any is going to be taken to address the discriminatory behaviour of the PPTA and the school towards the Student teacher?
- What has the Ministry said to the PPTA and the school that withdrew the student teacher’s placement?
- What consequences if any will there be for the PPTA and the school after denying the Student teacher equal access and opportunity to a State School for placement?
- What further action if any will the Ministry be taking in order to protect the Student teacher’s human right to equal access to training regardless of his sex, race, age, religion or place of employment?
- Does the Ministry believe that the PPTA have broken the law and that they have a case to answer with the Human Rights commission?
- Does the Ministry believe that Tikipunga High School has broken the law and that they have a case to answer to the Human rights commission?
- The Ministry has acknowledged that the PPTA has no responsibility or authority to influence these decisions. Are there any rules that the PPTA has broken that you can bring to our attention? Is there a piece of legislation that you can provide us with that states whose responsibility and authority it is to influence this kind of decision?
I also said…
I realise that some of my questions are very similar. I do not expect them all to be answered. Please answer the ones that you think are most pertinent and that you can answer most comprehensively.
I received a response today from Dr Graham Stoop, Deputy Secretary of Student Achievement:
Today’s face of the day is Alec Solomon, Principal of Tikipunga High School in Whangarei. The student teacher who was told that he was no longer welcome was on placement at Alec’s School.
I contacted Alec by e-mail and offered him the opportunity to either make a statement which I would publish unedited or to answer a few questions. Unfortunately this was his reply.
Kia ora Juana
We have no comment. Thank you.
I would have really liked to have heard his side of the story as I suspect that he was under huge pressure by the PPTA to withdraw his offer of placement to the Student teacher. His School has a lot to offer a Student teacher and the Student teacher forced to leave it must have been devastated to be discriminated against in such a career damaging way.
The Student teacher is also not commenting and I suspect it will be for the same reason as Mr Solomon. If they speak out against what the PPTA has done they make themselves an even bigger target. Alec Solomon cannot afford to have his PPTA member teachers threatening him with a walk out or a strike or some other form of protest as he has to put the needs of his students first. I think that it is terrible that both he and the Student teacher have been put in this invidious position.
The woman that Al Sharpton is defending, who is white, but faked her ethnicity as Black for over ten years once sued a university for discrimination against her because she was white!
The Smoking Gun website reports that Rachel Dolezal, the (now former) NAACP official who masqueraded as black sued Howard University in 2002 for denying her teaching posts and a scholarship because – wait for it – she was a white woman.
Dolezal, then known as Rachel Moore, sued the historically black college for discrimination the year she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree, contending that Howard was “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult.” She named the university and Professor Alfred Smith, chairman of Howard’s Department of Art, as defendants, and included “claims for medical and emotional distress damages” in the suit. Read more »
Interesting piece in the Taranaki Daily News by Helen Harvey. I Kiwi woman converts to Islam and shares the prejudice that she faces.
A Taranaki woman who has recently converted to Islam says she has been spat on, told to go back where she came from and, during a job interview, told to take off her hijab.
Cherie French did her shahada to convert to Islam last year and now wears a headcovering. A person becomes a Muslim by reciting the Shahada Islamic creed in Arabic.
She had previously worked in retail and last week she went for a job interview at Trick or Treat on Devon St, she said.
“I didn’t say anything about me being Muslim because it was pretty obvious. [The owner] said, can you take that off? It’s not allowed in the shop. I said it was because of my religion. She said, we have a policy there is no hats or sunglasses in the store.”
If you take on a religion that brings with it set of practices that are by and large foreign to the country you were born in, how do you expect people to react? Read more »
Yesterday we explored how muslims think they are misunderstood and if we just had remedial classes in understanding them things would get better.
Hello Cam – perhaps a talking-point for you:
Thursday last on 3News the NZ islamic top nana was bleating like a goat and shedding camel-tears about the rise of islamophobia.
This got me thinking…he was actually saying a lot more than he realised, because words DO have meanings.
Some objects or conditions engender fear, such as arachnophobia or claustrophobia, but do not result in a vengeful destructive hate for that object or condition.
Amongst these will of course be islamophobia, which is FEAR of islam (or of islamics) but is not a vengeful and destructive hate for it or them. Read more »
This is what the young up and coming Labour party members have to say about people they disagree with…like the Act party who are proposing to add interest to student loans. For that they get called Jews, and attacked via Facebook.
Stupid bastards, they can fuck right off, as if my $14,000 loan for 1 year wasn’t enough, just slam some interest on there too, bloody top job. Jews
People have written to me, and plenty of other have written blog posts and tweets suggesting that I would get hammered by the Press Council for my posts.
I’m not so sure.
Have a read of this complaint against the NZ Herald and Bob Jones after his column on women drivers:
1. There are two complaints, by Wendy Allison and Brendon Blue, about a Bob Jones column published in the New Zealand Herald on 22 October 2013, ‘Spare us from road-clogging women’. The complaints are not upheld.
2. In his column Bob Jones claimed that ‘terrified’ women drivers were stopping at roundabouts and causing ‘massive pile-ups’ and delays. They were also blocking the free flow of traffic by persistently driving in the right-hand lane.
3. As for people who complained about him weaving around the women drivers, he said he had suggested to police that they would be ‘doing God’s work by going to the complainants’ homes, beating the crap out of them and burning their houses down’.
4. Ms Allison said the column contributed to a culture in New Zealand of sexism and misogynist violence. It incited violence against women and amounted to hate speech.
5. The attitudes expressed by Jones were common in New Zealand; they were damaging and contributed to discrimination against women. As such as they were in breach of the Press Council’s principle dealing with discrimination.
6. She says the media has a role in influencing cultural attitudes, but the Herald was condoning this negative culture by publishing the column.
7. Mr Blue complained that the column was misleading, discriminatory, perpetuated negative and inaccurate stereotypes. As such, it breached Press Council principles dealing with fairness, accuracy and balance and discrimination.
8. Its representation of women drivers was inaccurate because data suggests that women may be superior drivers. He accepted that the column represented Sir Robert’s opinion, but this did not allow him to mislead readers by omitting information that contradicted his view – namely official accident statistics which Mr Blue supplied to the Press Council.
9. He said the column explicitly and wilfully condoned violence against women and appeared threatening, abusive and insulting. Like Ms Allison he said the column bordered on hate speech.
10. Mr Blue sought an apology from the Herald for publishing the column and asked the newspaper to review Sir Robert’s continued employment as a columnist. Read more »