Schools ready for fight videos

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

AUCK­LAND prin­ci­pals say they’re not sur­prised by re­ports of a fight club at St Paul’s Col­lege.

Avon­dale Col­lege prin­ci­pal Brent Lewis says most schools will have ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar prob­lems.

“Un­for­tu­nately kids are vir­tu­ally wan­der­ing around with cam­eras in their back pock­ets th­ese days,” he says.

“Schools would be naive to think they can stop this from hap­pen­ing, but we have a very strong pol­icy to deal with it if it does.”

Six stu­dents have been sus­pended from Pon­sonby’s St Paul’s Col­lege af­ter videos of fight­ing in a class­room were dis­cov­ered on web­site You Tube last week.

The fights were filmed via cell­phone and showed sev­eral pupils in uni­form kick­ing and punch­ing each other, ac­com­pa­nied by hip hop mu­sic.

St Paul’s Col­lege spokesman Brother Richard Dun­leavy says the six stu­dents will go be­fore the board of trustees dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee to de­ter­mine their fate to­day.

They may face ex­tended sus­pen­sion or ex­pul­sion.

Mt Al­bert Gram­mar prin­ci­pal Dale Bur­den says sim­i­lar fight club videos have been a prob­lem around the world for at least three years.

“We treat it if and when it hap­pens,” he says.

“If stu­dents are do­ing some­thing in school uni­form that brings the school into dis­re­pute, then there will be con­se­quences.

“Un­for­tu­nately kids will al­ways push the lim­its but it is not the tech­nol­ogy that is the prob­lem, it is the peo­ple who mis­use it.”

Lyn­field Col­lege prin­ci­pal Steve Bo­vaird agrees it would be dif­fi­cult to find a school that hasn’t dealt with the same is­sue.

“Play­ground scraps have been go­ing on for a long time and they will con­tinue,” he says. “This is just an elec­tronic means for bul­ly­ing and some­thing new will al­ways come along to deal with.

“Our stu­dents are held to ac­count if they en­dan­ger or harm an­other per­son and it is treated very se­ri­ously at our school.”

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be con­ducted by for­mer Orewa Col­lege prin­ci­pal Peter God­dard to see if there are any un­der­ly­ing prob­lems at the school.

Brother Dun­leavy says stu­dents and staff are sup­port­ing each other through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The feel­ing is dis­ap­point­ment and shame that a small group here have pro­jected this iden­tity on to the school,” he says.

“It doesn’t re­flect on the whole school. It has been se­lec­tively done by a small group within the school,” he says.

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