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(New Zealand) Increase in students disciplined for "verbal or physical assaults"

Sept 4, 2018, New Zealand Herald: More disciplinary action in Rotorua schools in 2017 than 2018 More disciplinary action was taken as a result of verbal or physical assaults on staff in Rotorua schools in 2017 than the year before but local principals aren't concerned. Figures released by the Ministry of Education under an Official Information Act request reveal the number of times a student was stood down or suspended for either a verbal or physical assault between January 2016 and August 2018. In 2016 there were 28 stand downs and 11 suspensions for physical or verbal assaults on staff. This compared with 2017 when there were 45 stand downs and seven suspensions. Overall there were 164 stand downs in 2016 and 219 in 2017 for any reason. There were 88 suspensions each year. The school with the highest number of stand downs due to verbal assaults between January 2016 and July 2018 was Rotorua Girls' High School with 20…. "The challenge we have is with children both with behavioural and mental issues." Stewart said at Rotokawa School each case was looked at individually but for a stand down or suspension to occur, there needed to be "significant harm done"…. Rotorua-based registered clinical psychologist Dr Erin Eggleston said schools were making a stand against violence but there were a few potential reasons for children to act out. "Let's think about this acting out behaviour as an underlying need we can tackle, understand or address. "Some consideration might be stressors at home, at school, [in the] community." Eggleston said some children might need to be upskilled in communication or emotional regulation skills and the behaviour may also suggest a mental health need or drug use….

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