Tiana Turner, a New Zealander educator, who works with children aged 8 to 16 told local politicians that schools were failing children from families in which “inter-generational abuse” was common. She claims “schools used to be a safe haven. What I have noticed is that school is no longer a safe haven. They(children) go from their homes that are extremely challenging to a school environment that is even worse.” She believes that traditional schoolyard bullying has escalated which increases the difficulty in safeguarding children in schools. She blames the “guielines for schools and teachers have no ability to put in very clea boudnaries to have a safe environment.”
Ms. Turner is most probably correct in that modern guidelines make it more difficult to expel children and as she points out, to do so would only place “young children on the streets getting no education, with not confidence and no self-esteem.” Defenders of school policies insist there are guidelines and things are better than before. Is this an example in which both sides are making valid points?
Ms. Turner and others forget in the “old days” a much higher percent of toubled and difficult children either left school on their own or were permanently expelled. Mass education means all children, difficult or not, are entitled to an education. In post industrial societies, there are fewer job opportunities leading to careers for adolescent youth. The end result is society must confront issues dealing with these children for whom violence is a way of dealing with life itself. Perhaps, the solution also lies in creating an education that has meaning for children.