Schools ready for fight videos
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.