Parents back principal on school expectations

A speech made by King’s High School rector Dan Reddiex at his school prizegiving has received overwhelming public support.

More than 400 people gave the speech the thumbs up on social media and more than 50 people commented on the speech.

Mr Reddiex said the school’s ability to educate boys "in mind and in heart" was under threat, and schools were increasingly becoming social institutions as well as educational institutions.

Dan Reddiex
Dan Reddiex

"The expectations imposed upon us now as a school, to attend to and reverse the ills of our society, are completely unrealistic and they are beyond our resource capability."

He said the lines of demarcation between parental and school responsibility and accountability had been "completely obliterated", and there was an expectation schools would, in part, fulfil the function that historically had been the role of a parent.

"The vast majority of parents are doing a fantastic job, but there are some who need to take more responsibility for their child’s behaviour."

Not everyone agreed.

One parent said many parents were too scared to punish their children.

"Now children just walk all over them [parents] as they are taught that parents have no say. Parents are powerless.

"I mean that ... [expletive] Pam’s ad with the kids judging their parent’s cooking kinda says it all. We are all slaves to our children."

The vast majority of people commenting on social media about the speech were supportive of Mr Reddiex’s view.

"He’s 100% right, and this has been on a slippery slope for a very long time," one parent said.

"I’m afraid that at this point it’s a case of closing the gate once the horse has bolted.

"For change to happen now will take a miracle."

Another parent agreed.

"Your kids should be taught all these basics of behaviour etc before going to school.

"Teachers aren’t babysitters! Too many parents want to be their children’s best friends."

Many comments suggested some parents needed to get parenting lessons.

"Some parents don’t teach their kids respect. Respect is everything.

"I see some disgusting teens out there that have no respect for their parents, siblings, teachers, humans in general."

Other comments blamed society for the issue and questioned whether there was a solution.

"There was a time where if we got in trouble at school, we feared the wrath of our parents.

"Times have changed. I believe technology plays a part, and also that parents have to work more to put food on the table.

"It is sad that we cannot literally afford to spend more time with our children. What to do?"

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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