No wonder we hate teachers

Surprise, surprise the Teachers Council (made up mostly of union members) has found in favour of the principal who called Anne Tolley “Minister Hitler”.

A complaint against an Invercargill principal who compared Education Minister Anne Tolley with Hitler has been investigated by the Teachers Council, which says she is entitled to her opinion.

Lower Hutt man Max Shierlaw filed the complaint with the council after Salford School principal Marlene Campbell made comments on her Facebook page last year alluding to Anne Tolley and the National Standards testing regime.

She said: “And the MOE attack schools deferring setting targets, that’s a constructive response? Excuse me Minister Hitler? Am I in Germany? Is this the end of self-managing schools? read Kelvin Smythes latest blog, he is a true hero! (sic)”.

Mr Shierlaw, who is a Lower Hutt City councillor, said he complained on the basis that the commentary brought the teaching profession into disrepute.

Marlene Campbell will have of course have fed this to Fairfax – she thinks it makes her look good. But note that they also try to smear the complainant. Just because he is in favour of National Standards somehow makes his view invalid to these people.

This principal is on the executive of the NZPF which has its conference in Wellington this weekend. So while most reasonable people would expect them to have a view on how to prevent or deal with bullying, they would rather have the right to call the Minister Hitler. I’ll just bet that she has never apologised either.

Meanwhile we see another side to Teachers where they protect their own even though they are nasty, vindictive dangers to children:

A teacher accused of abusing and confining preschoolers has negotiated an exit that does not let her school tell prospective employers about the allegations.

The head teacher of the school said she has been in tears after being forced to write in glowing terms about a woman whom she thinks should not be a teacher.

Accusations arose that the woman smacked children, pulled their hair and put them into “weird timeout situations”, including being put in cupboards for up to half an hour.

Police formally warned the teacher but decided not to prosecute because of the difficulty in getting evidence from preschoolers. A warning letter was also sent to the wider preschool saying that the behaviour reported was unacceptable.

But the Employment Relations Authority has ordered the school to abide by the terms of the teacher’s exit settlement, including giving a reference that referred to the teacher as “competent” and providing “excellent” documentation.

It has banned publication of her name and the school.

Trevor Mallard is outraged, and rightly so. Perhaps he could find out the details and name the school and teacher in parliament? I wonder what the punishment powers of the Employment Relations Authority are if you breach their suppression orders? The tipline is there folks for your use.

Teachers wonder why we loathe them, there are but two examples, but we can add another, where educational specialists think that John Key writing to Boards of schools to remind them of their duty to care for students in helping to stamp out bullies is “unhelpful”.

Frances Steinberg, a psychologist who has worked in the US and New Zealand, including in special schools for emotionally disturbed and learning disabled students, said Key’s stance was “unhelpful”. He should have asked schools what changes were needed to help them cope with bullying.

“The government modelled one of the most brazen acts of bullying I have witnessed outside of the schoolyard. Prime Minister John Key ordered boards of trustees and principals to be reminded of their responsibilities, threatening to bring the wrath of ERO on them if they do not act appropriately.

“Instead of asking what additional resources were needed to handle the issue or consulting with schools and families about why [current initiatives] are not being effective with bullying, they engaged in the same blame and shame policy they’re asking schools to use with families.”

Steinberg emailed the trenchant criticism to various schools she works with and said she was deluged with people thanking her.

She said that in her experience, schools were doing the best they could to deal with bullying but programmes such as the Incredible Years Parent Programme and Positive Behaviour for Learning were not working as well as they should.

My experience of dealing with schools over bullying is that they almost always blame the victim, encourage the victim to move schools and hush it all up so they can say rather loudly at parents meetings that they have a zero tolerance on bullying. What they really mean is that they have a zero tolerance for anyone dealing with bullies. Victims aren’t allowed to defend themselves and get treated worse than the bullies that torment them.

Teachers mostly are bullies themselves. They need the political equivalent of a Casey Haynes smackdown.

Until they start acting like adults then they deserve only contempt. Their intransigence with bullies, with pedos, and with abuse means they need to be treated just like naughty school children.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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