Kiwi Polemicist

December 19, 2008

Why do school bullies get a slap with a wet bus ticket?

Madeleine has described the troubles her son is having with bullies at his school, including physical injury and theft. The response from the school is akin to attacking an elephant with a chopstick:

The school, following the ministry’s guidelines, instead had multiple meetings with us and worked hard with their staff putting strategies to protect Christian in place – they even waived their policy of waiting for a year of knowing the child and put him in one of the top streams mid-year after I suggested that the brighter kids might not respond with their fists so readily. The kids did get detentions, were talked to and told off and made to apologise and most did not re-offend against Christian but none of these, we and Christian felt, were sufficient consequences as none of them countered the culture problem the school and Christian faced.

So, why do the toads who bully get a slap with a wet bus ticket? There are at least two reasons:

1) the school staff and the ministry staff have a vested interest in the continuation of the problem, because the continuation of the problem ensures job security for them. When the state owns the means of production there is no accountability to the taxpayers who fund the system. In a private school the staff would accountable to the parents who pay the fees and therefore they would have a vested interest in fixing the problem¹.

2) the leftist ideology of victimisation says that offenders are in fact victims (they had a bad childhood, blah, blah) and therefore they have little or no responsibility for their actions.

In my humble opinion schools, especially state schools, are irredeemably FUBAR and children should be home schooled, thus avoiding the bullying problem entirely². However, in this situation giving the bullies six of the best would be a good start insofar as it would teach them the concept of consequences of actions. They have inflicted pain upon Christian, and giving them a dose of pain would help them develop the empathy for other people that they are lacking.

Furthermore, I believe that Christian is morally and legally justified in responding with whatever force is necessary to get the bullies to cease and desist, especially when the school is negligent in regard to its duty of care³.

The state is hypocritical when it tells parents how to raise their children (and justifies this by saying that it is trying to protect children) whilst it is unable protect the children that are in its “care”. As Matt (Christian’s father) says:

Suppose my son was regularly punched, hit, had his pants pulled down and displayed on you tube while in *my* care what would happen? I would be investigated and probably prosecuted for child neglect and abuse.

A few months ago my son came home with a split lip and bruised face, when I refused to send him back to school until I had received assurance that the matter was dealt with. I was the one breaking the law and potentially subject to prosecution.

Why is the government not subject to the same standards when I put my child in its care?

Matt, the state is not subject to the same standards because the state is above the law: you, on the other hand, are a slave who is subject to whatever standards the state chooses to impose upon you.

What do you think should be done with these bullies?

What do you think about the state’s double standard?


1) I am assuming that Christian goes to a state school

2) no criticism of Matt & Madeleine is intended.

3) S48 of the Crimes Act says “Every one is justified in using, in the defence of himself or another, such force as, in the circumstances as he believes them to be, it is reasonable to use.”



  1. Thanks KP – good post.

    Christian goes to an integrated school, so semi-private. However, even the private schools are controlled on matters like this by the state.

    [KP: thank you Matt, you’re welcome]

    Comment by Matt — December 19, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Christian has defended himself and used force to do so, most recently in the attack Matt described, but this was seen to mitigate the assualt against him by both the school and the police (who refused to act), although no one said he should not have done so.

    The sooner we are in a position to homeschool Christian and all our kids the better as like you, we have no faith in the state. We have homeschooled before and our eldest is homeschooled currently, as she is an independant worker who we do not have to supervise to know she is getting a good home education – though she starts Uni in March. Christian is not like her in terms of his study ethic and is younger so we cannot let him homeschool himself (so to speak) like we do with Sheridan.

    [KP: justice has been booted out the window when self defence is seen as mitigating the assault. Even if the force used in self defence is excessive that in no way mitigates the original offence.

    Does this mean that, if someone murders me and I attempt to defend myself, the charge will be reduced to manslaughter because my self defence mitigated the crime?]

    Comment by Madeleine — December 19, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  3. A good post, but I had one quibble: “the school staff and the ministry staff have a vested interest in the continuation of the problem, ”

    I would say more true is that “they do not have a vested interest in ending the problem.”

    My statement would paint the school as insufficiently active, the one in the post above, as as deliberately creating the problem – and I’m sure that they are not sadists.

    It annoys me when people paint conspiracies where another, more simple problem (like laziness for example) is the issue, see any left wing blog for example after example.

    But good points other than that.

    [KP: thank you.

    As regards your quibble: I was not intending to paint a conspiracy, rather I was thinking of a subtle psychological effect, i.e. people will have in the back of their mind a thought along the lines of “If I fix this problem I’ll be out of a job”. This is not intentional sadism, rather it is the logical outcome when someone does not have a vested interest in fixing the problem and does have a vested interest in the continuation of the problem.

    Having a vested interest in the continuation of the problem is different to “deliberately creating the problem”, and with all due respect you are reading into my post something that isn’t there, i.e. nothing in my post implies that the staff are creating the problem.

    Whilst it is true that, as you say, the staff do not have a vested interest in fixing the problem, it is also true that they have a vested interest in the continuation of the problem. That is the problem with so many state “services”, if not all of them.]

    Comment by scrubone — December 19, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  4. “but this was seen to mitigate the assualt against him by both the school and the police”

    Ah yes. “If it’s not black and white then it’s fault on both sides”.

    “Reasonable force” anyone?

    [KP: it would appear that the school and the police are either ignorant of or ignoring the reasonable force provisions in the law I quote above].

    Comment by scrubone — December 19, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

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