Police support for school’s efforts

Police say schools in Te Awamutu are confronting bullying – but the results of their work is not always evident.

Area Prevention Manager, Waikato West Area, Dave Hall said he was aware of instances where privacy regulations made it difficult for schools to release details of how incidents had been handled.

That in turn could leave an impression the issue had not been dealt with – however this was typically not the case.

He was commenting after another wave of social media posts this week questioning how Te Awamutu College handled bullying – and a video of a student being attacked – was posted.

It came just days after the school joined community groups observing the anti-bullying Pink Shirt day.

Hall said it was clear that bullying at different levels was an issue. A lot was online and outside of school hours, but then spilled over into “real life” at school.

“Police youth staff talk and listen to students regularly and find one has reacted to comments allegedly made by the other – then find the comments were never made, and at the end of it, the two students then say they have no issue with each other.”

He encouraged parents and guardians to take their concerns to police or the school as first points of contact, rather than social media.

“What I’ve read – yes, some is true, but a lot is not and can make the problems worse for students.

“Police acknowledge that bullying can be extremely distressing for students, and we work hard to resolve these issues and help young people feel safe.”

He was unaware at the latest bullying video or suggestions police had been handed multiple videos of incidents, but said while police were dealing with complaints, there were not a large number.

Read: Tony’s plea: beware the social media myths

Read: We say: Dealing with the Bullying

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