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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Liston College: Bullying Update

We removed our son from Liston College in May 2009 after a year and half of bullying. In this time it became clear that the problem with the school wasn't just those students doing the bullying but that the school itself did not take bullying seriously enough.

In every previous blog post on our bullying saga we have avoided naming the school as we wanted to give them a chance to rectify their mistakes and do the right thing. However, after much consideration, we have changed our policy (although we will not name staff members or students). This is due to the letter we received from the school's Principal after submitting a formal complaint to the Board of Trustees, on 23 May 09, who have to date not responded themselves.

It is clear to us that Liston have no intention of learning from what happened to our son on their watch so we feel we have an obligation to ensure parents considering Liston College are aware of what they could be getting their son into.

If Liston College want this blog post to be deleted they can send our son an apology, give us a refund of his fees in full, develop a bullying policy and make a commitment to ensure that bullying in the classroom, in front of teachers, is always followed up on and by followed up on, we don't mean that the victim is sent to the back of the classroom to separate the two and that parents are never informed that their son's are bullies.

The letter from Liston's College's Principal:

Dear Dr and Mrs Flannagan,

I am in receipt of your letter dated the 23rd of May 2009 outlining your reasons for removing Christian from Liston College. It is disappointing that you both feel that the school has let your son down.

I feel that my staff have acted professionally and they have worked extremely hard to resolve the issues but as parents you have the right to remove your son from our College.

There will be a part refund on fees and this will be processed by our Accounts Department and sent to you by the end of the week.

I wish Christian all the best at his new school.

The part refund, according to the accompanying note from the accounts department, was simply an adjustment to reflect the time Christian actually spent at Liston which we would have received if we had left the school for any reason. We are asking for a full refund due to breach of contract and resulting harm; Christian did not get the education we paid for due to their failure to effectively deal with his bullying and both his mental health and education suffered considerably as a result.

As for 'staff acting professionally' and 'working extremely hard to resolve issues' see the complaint we sent to the Board of Trustees below and then let us know in the comments if you think we are over-reacting. We wish to be fair so tell us if you think we are not.

To the Board of Trustees of Liston College,

Our son has recently been withdrawn from Liston College as we have lost confidence in the school’s ability to provide him with a safe physical and emotional environment.

Christian began attending Liston at the start of 2008 as a Year 9 student. Since that time he has been repeatedly bullied by other students. This bullying included being called names, threatened, being taunted about his medical condition (he has Aspergers Syndrome – see the attachment “medical condition”); he has been shoved, choked, hit, punched, knocked over, kicked, had his pants pulled down and has been dragged across the concrete while a student filmed him on his cell phone. During class, he has had objects thrown at him, he has been hit, punched, kicked, he has been knocked out of his desk, has had people steal his belongings, call him names and taunt him about his condition. Frequently the response of the teachers in these classes to these incidents has not been adequate, often it has been him moved instead of the bully.

Not once, when staff were aware that he had been assaulted, were we ever informed by the school that he had been attacked; including the time he came home with a swollen, blackened, split lip and was crying so loudly the receptionist could hear him from the sickbay or the time he was dropped to the ground and kicked by a group of boys. Instead, each time he would be sent back to class (where sometimes he would be assaulted again) and the first we would hear about any attack on him would be when he got home; by then he would be in an extremely distressed state at, not just the assault, but at having had to come to terms with what had happened on his own, not being able to contact us, and at having to face his attackers before he was ready to.

To our knowledge, no student has been stood down, reported to the board of trustees or even had their parents phoned over the assaults and harassment they have committed against our son in his year and a half at Liston, including the repeat offenders. As far as we can tell, punishments ranged from being spoken to by the dean, sometimes detentions or some form of mediation between Christian and the bully concerned; which Christian often reported to us that he felt he had no option but to consent to participate in even when he did not feel up to facing his attacker.

We were not always informed of the outcome of complaints, so Christian would often return to school not even sure if any justice had occurred. This made summoning the courage to face his attackers more difficult. On other occasions we have been told that Christian’s annoying Aspergers-related behaviour had some how mitigated or made the assaults more understandable.

In response to complaints about bullying during class-time being tolerated or trivialised by his teachers (See the attachment written by Christian entitled “bad teachers”) Christian was told by his dean, XXXXX to just get up and walk out of class. However, Christian was paralysed with fear at the thought of doing this, so was unable to do so in response to subsequent classroom incidents. YYYYY [the Guidance Counsellor] made Christian a card to use in such situations, the card was supposed to work so that he could just show it to the teacher and the teacher would then permit him to leave but when he tried to use it he was not allowed to leave. It seemed to us that a better solution would have been for the teachers to simply not tolerate bullying in the classroom as opposed to putting the solution to the problem onto Christian.

We found as we supported Christian through these events that there was sometimes a lack of understanding of the effects of the bullying on him; Christian often would not feel comfortable reporting the bullying to anyone at school and would instead tell us when he got home. The reasons why he did this were often not understood by the school despite this being a very commonly documented occurrence in victims of bullying and despite our attempts to explain this on Christian’s behalf. For example, in an email dated 3 March 09, XXXXX wrote,

“I met with Christian and Matthew this morning concerning the e-mail you sent. Once again Christian continues to take problems home and not seek immediate assistance when something untoward happens to him.”

This type of comment was made frequently despite it being a very normal reaction on the part of victims of assault and harassment to not report it.

Christian felt that many of the adults at the school had failed to act justly on this matter previously so he did not feel safe going to them. Sometimes, as reporting it opened the whole thing up, took him out of class, ate up his lunch-times and got us upset, even though he wanted some justice and wanted it to stop, it seemed easier to leave it but then it would escalate and he wouldn’t know what to do then because he would have to explain why he had left it. This was especially common on days or weeks where there were several separate incidents. Further, he was also aware that his condition makes him annoying to other children and that given his struggles with social contexts, he frequently lacked the confidence to be sure that what had happened met the standard for bullying. Given all of this, we don’t think that it was fair to expect him to always feel able to report it immediately and to make comments to that effect to him. We understand the need for immediate reporting but victims are not always capable of doing this and understanding that is an important part of helping them.

Notwithstanding this, we do not want to give the impression that XXXXX or YYYYYY or ZZZZZZ, the former guidance counsellor, did not care about what was happening to Christian or that they failed to follow through on investigating complaints. This was not the case and we appreciated their concern and their investigations. Our issue was that we were not always informed of outcomes of complaints; we were never informed of attacks on Christian – even the more serious ones - and there was insufficient understanding of the effect bullying has on a victim. In addition we were not happy with the consequence meted out to the offenders or with Christian’s teachers more than once failing to act on classroom bullying.

It seemed to us (aside from the repeat offenders) that as each bully was dealt with another one popped up to take his place. This suggested to us that a culture of bullying had developed within the school; that to the other students, bullying didn’t come with serious consequences: your parents didn’t get told, you were not at risk of being stood down and the teachers didn’t really view it as anything serious anyway when it happened in the classroom. We feel that this is why the situation was never able to be gotten under control and why the school cannot, at this point, provide Christian with a safe learning environment.

The result of the last year and half of enduring bullying at Liston is that Christian’s education and mental health has been harmed. He has been recently referred to mental health by his doctor and he reports suffering from severe panic attacks 4-5 times a week when he is at school. Discovering this meant that continuing to try to work with the school was no longer in Christian’s best interests. We could not in good conscience keep him in an environment that was causing him that much harm.

The consequence of this decision is that he now has to face adjusting to a new school, change is a big deal for someone with Aspergers Syndrome, and having to face this in the middle of his first year of NCEA is especially difficult. Further, having a Christian education is also something very important to Christian, who has a strong faith, and he is disappointed that he now he has to go to a secular school where he cannot take his favourite subject, religious education. Finally, his grades have slipped, which he says is due to his constant worrying about avoiding bullying and the panic attacks which have messed with his ability to concentrate and also, due to the amount of time he was spending either out of class reporting bullying or the days off school emotionally recovering from bullying.

Needless to say we are extremely unhappy at what has happened to our son. We seek a full refund of Christian’s school fees on the grounds that he has not received the education that we paid for due to the breach of duty of care that the school owed him. Further, it is our and Christian’s, hope that as a consequence of what he has endured at Liston, that the Board will develop and implement a just bullying policy that has consequences as its primary focus, is more closely mirrored with what happens in real life when an adult commits assault against another, so as to prepare students for what awaits them when they turn 16 and engage in this behaviour, and involves a joint strategy with both home and school for all parties concerned.

Assault and harassment carries serious legal consequences if people engage in it when they are adults. Given this, a school does its students no favours if it fails to treat these things as seriously as the law does. The school we are moving Christian to has a very strong policy on bullying; the first offence earns the offender a trip to the deputy principal’s office and a letter home and a second offence is an automatic stand down and a report to the Board of Trustees. We feel that a similar policy is warranted at Liston.

Please see the attached appendices to further support and elaborate on the claims made above.

We won't list all the appendices as the whole complaint was 16 pages long but here is Christian's report on the incidents that happened in class with the teacher present; it relates to four separate teachers:

Bad Teachers

Written by Christian

Social Studies: Once, I was attacked and the teacher said I deserved it because I hadn't done my work. Another time I tried to use my card and I couldn't leave. On Liston Day some boys were punching me, I told the teacher and she believed them when they lied and said it was all someone else (who she didn’t talk to).

Physical Education: I was pushed right out of my seat onto the floor, knocking over my desk in the process, by CCCCCC who always hits me, I told the teacher and CCCCCC lied, saying that I was "shouting in his ear". I was actually facing the opposite direction talking quietly to somebody else. I told the teacher this and he confined me to my seat and said that CCCCCC was justified in assaulting me.

Graphics: I was hit in the head. I reported it, the teacher said he would deal with it but he did nothing. About 10 minutes later I reminded him, then he said "let’s just put it behind us". Ok, fine. I got angry and couldn't do any work. If the teacher complained, I would say exactly what he said: “let’s just put it behind us.”

Science: CCCCCC was throwing paper, folded so much that it was hard, at me. I reported it. Teacher didn't notice (the class was misbehaving, I’m not surprised he didn't notice when I reported it). He did nothing about it.

I hate the school because I am ALWAYS being pulled out to avoid bullying because the school won't take the bullies out. This is wrong and I think it’s wrong to do anything they tell me to if they are that stupid. EVERY SINGLE TIME I get bullied in class I'M the one who has to sit in the back of the class. The bullies just get told to stop it (and they never stop) when they should be the ones made to sit at the back. When I speak out against the teacher I get told off and threatened with detentions but they can do what they like to me.

We could go to court and we reserve our rights to do so, but the education sector is highly regulated and there is the cost and the time frame to consider. The official complaints mechanisms via the government departments are bureaucratic and backed up; as a result only severe bullying tends to get followed up on (what happened to Christian is deemed low level). Options like the blogosphere, Fair Go, the media are more accessible, quicker and are generally more effective.

We realise that this is a bullish move but we have been trying to resolve this issue with Liston College for over a year now and they appear to think they did nothing wrong and do not owe our son anything.


  1. Matt and Madeleine

    First of all, I am truly sorry that your son and you, have had to go through this. It is completely unacceptable and as a Christian Brother Old Boy, I am sad to say the the once proud Christian Brothers have lost their way - along with their members.

    My suggestion is to document EVERYTHING that has happened and send a letter to the Board, care of the Chair. They HAVE to respond. If they refuse to deal with it, then you can ask ERO to investigate a lack of policy follow-through. That is the one thing that scares the crap out of Boards.
    I note at Liston College they highlight "the dignity of the individual". Cheap talk I hear your say and quite rightly.

    I hope Christian is happier out of there than in.

    Recent blog post: Doing Porridge - Island Style

  2. I'm really pleased that you have named the school. Bullying is a serious issue in schools. It needs to tackled head on. As a teacher myself, I know that I will have missed some bullying that has gone on in my classes over the years, its sad but true. However teachers and schools must be able to work with students and their families and we need to protect the victims of this abuse. I am sorry that you and your son Christian and the rest of your family have had to go through all this. The emotional drain is huge in this kind of situation. Kia Kaha

  3. Christian is doing a lot better. Bullying is in every school and Christian is 14, male and has Aspergers so is a bullying magnet. His new school is no exception but what is different is how it is handled and how it is being handled is making all the difference.

    It is a huge relief to have him in an environment where parents are involved right from the start of any bullying, suspension is immediately on the table, and Christian knows he can phone us at any point he needs us (not that he has). This results in Christian feeling supported and safe and able to concentrate on his studies. Liston could learn a lot.

    It is still hard for him though, change is tough for Aspies and making new friends takes time, but at least his panic attacks are down to only 2 in the past 5 weeks, his grades are up and he is his normal self again.

    Thanks for your suggestion. The only correspondance has been the letter from the Principal above and a brief note from the accounts department. The Board of Trustees has not responded to our letter and supporting documentation which we sent to them on 23 May. We will get onto an ERO complaint and inform the Board of that in our next letter.

    Thanks for your encouragement and support.

  4. Thanks Cassandra. It felt scary taking this step and there was a temptation to drop it as we had gotten Christian out of there but we kept thinking about the other kids who are in that school and the parents of the bullies who have no clue their kids are on the wrong path - they have a right to know so they can help and guide their kids (or at least be presented with the information even if they choose not to).

    If it was instances that were missed or tricky to investigate due to lack of evidence that would be one thing and we wouldn't hold the school accountable for that but that's not what we are objecting to here. We know it is tough for teachers in the classrooms and sometimes it is easier to not tackle a difficult kid but as a parent that is not my problem. My problem, is my kid's welfare. Schools agree to take our kids into their care and provide them with a safe learning environment. If they make that commitment then they have to take all reasonable steps to ensure they deliver.

    Not having a bullying policy, even in the face of 'working extremely hard to overcome' a known, long-term, bullying problem, teachers not acting on incidents happening in the classroom and expecting our son to just get on with his work when he had been hit and no justice had occurred and then wondering why his work was dropping off, allowing repeat offenders to reoffend in excess of half a dozen times and still not once informing their parents or standing them down is not taking all reasonable steps.

    You are right, the emotional drain has been huge. I was unable to study, I stuffed up my opinion paper and entered my exam nowhere near as well prepared as I should have been because I just couldn't get my mind off what was happening to my son. I just could not focus, it was eating me up and yet I wasn't the one it was happening to.

  5. I find this story infuriating. Schools are places for people to study - if they cannot perform their job, then they should be sued out of existence by parents.

    I have some questions:

    1) Was this a public or private school?
    2) Were the teachers unionized?

    Things are not much better here in the USA. I posted recently about the extreme difficulties faced by anyone who tries to fire a poorly performing teacher. It's next to impossible because of the unions. And you have to keep paying them, even if they are removed from the classroom.

    Thanks for sharing this story.

    Recent blog post: Peer-reviewed paper says there is no atheistic explanation for the Cambrian explosion

  6. In my experience as a victim of bullying and more recently as the Head of a large college I am convinced that all responsibility for a continued bullying culture lies solely with the Head of that institution. As you point out they do not have a sufficient approach or policy regarding bullying and this is the Heads responsibility to undertake.

    I would, rather strongly, suggest that the Liston School Board of Trustees needs to have an evaluation of their Principal commissioned. If he/she has been so ineffective in this matter it is likely there are many other areas of the school that are failing badly.

    It is certainly pleasing to hear that Christian is showing improvement and greater happiness at his new school. Good luck and God bless to him for the remainder of the school year.

  7. Thanks for posting this blog. As a teacher and parent it is shocking what has happened to your child and I hope this serves as a wake up call for the mentioned school.

    I agree with Wildlife. The problem rests with the Principal. That is because it is his school and his responsibility to ensure the school not only has a bullying policy but that it is working effectively. This is the reason for his 'blow off' reply he gave you. If he said there was/is a problem then it would be his responsibility it was not in place and also his job to deal with it. I do suggest that you go to BOT. They are his boss and will force him to answer some tough questions.

    I assume that this school is an integrated school, so this attitude surprises me. Bullying is a huge issue in New Zealand schools. From my experience it is far easier to deal with in an integrated or private school rather than a state school. State schools have far great restrictions on entry which means it seems to be harder to get rid of students if their behaviour is not as expected. This is sad but it is the reality.

    Have you had any response from the school following this blog???

    All the best for Christian at his new school.

    Recent blog post: I hate the Library

  8. Liston is an integrated school. It is like a hybrid between a public and private school. It gets some state funding but is allowed a to have a special character, in this instance a Catholic focus, which can be taught to students. It does not provide as much flexibility as a private school but it is an improvement on a state school and of course is more affordable for parents.

    The teachers union in New Zealand is very powerful and while membership is voluntary I understand most teachers belong to it regardless of whether the school is private or not. The teachers commenting here would have a better idea.

    As for suing them out of existence. It apparently has not been tried in New Zealand. The education system is highly regulated, even the private sphere, so heaps of avenues you'd have are cut off here. Breach of contract is available but our lawyers say that has never been tried against a school to their knowledge though they agree with my assessment that there is no reason it couldn't fly. We have the means to go to court, I could take it myself but it is a lot of work and we'd rather settle this quicker. We want them to wake up to their problem and tackle it for the benefit of their current and future students and refund our fees and give some kind of acknowledgement to Christian. We are not interested in getting rich off suing them.

    Recent blog post: Michael Jackson Dead

  9. We did send this to the BOT, back on 23 May, and the only response we've had was this letter from the Principal and the short note from the accounts department.

    Liston is integrated and like you we were surprised as right now we are in a state school and it is a lot better which is also surprising. Our preference is homeschooling but when we have used schools we have always used private or integrated for a multitude of reasons including the ones you cited.

    What you and Wildlife have to say about the Principal's role is intereting. I think the principle that when something is rotten at the lower levels of the organisation it is often rot that spread downwards is true.

    Lack of strong policy and application, lack of viewing it as seriously as is warranted were the problems and these things should have been set by the leadership. How else do you get a situation where 4 of your staff permit bullying to go unpunished when it occurs in their classes?

    Recent blog post: Michael Jackson Dead

  10. From my expereince a school always comes back to the principal. It is their job to guide and develop the school. A good principal is worth about 10 good teachers!!!
    Yes, the teachers did nothing and I would ask why??? Most probably they did nothing becasue they knew nothing would be done further up the school. Perahps this was from past experience or observation. My hunch, without knowing the school, is that teachers have faced this issue before and its hasn't been dealt with correctly by the senior leaders. Hence their inability to do anythign about it know.

    I also find it shocking that you wrote a letter to the BOT and the reply came form the Principal. To me, and I am shooting from the hip here, this BOT doesn't really know what it is doing if this is the case. The BOT has ultimate responsibility for the school. Yes the Principal is resonsible for overall day to day management of the school. However, you wrote a letter because you felt this wasn't working well at you school. To have him then reply is not right.

    Recent blog post: I hate the Library

  11. That is the confusing thing. On the same day I dropped off the Board of Trustees complaint I also dropped off a much shorter letter to the Principal informing him that Christian was no longer a student and briefly alluding to why - we made mention of the ongoing bullying and our lack of faith in the school due to staff allowing it to happen in class and punishments being insufficient. In that letter we said we were seeking a a full refund and we hoped a bullying policy would be implemented.

    The Principal knew of the situation regarding Christian, we'd written to him twice about it (he referred us back to the Dean in both instances), and we'd been told that our complaints regarding the teachers had been forwarded onto him by the Dean and the Guidance Counsellor and that they had worked with him and kept him up to date throughout. I also assume that the Principal is aware of BOT issues too?

    Anyway as this is the only correspondance received to date, over a month later, we can only assume that the BOT do not intend to respond and perhaps directed the Principal to respond instead.

    Recent blog post: Michael Jackson Dead

  12. Liston is a great school.
    it sounds to me as if your boy needs to tuffin up.
    i agree that the school have handled things poorly and bullies should be taken more seriously
    but come on this is over the top.

  13. Liston is a great school.
    i agree that the school have handled things poorly and bullies should be taken more seriously
    but come on this is over the top.

  14. Liston is a great school.
    i agree that the school have handled things poorly and bullies should be taken more seriously
    but come on this is over the top.

  15. Dont know what you are actually trying to say here RUGBYMAD.
    Surely part of being a 'great school' is dealing the bullying in an affective way. something even you admit this school has not done well. In my experience there aren't many 'great' schools that handle bullying in the same way this school has.
    Could you please explain which bits are 'over the top'???

  16. Dont know what you are actually trying to say here RUGBYMAD.
    Surely part of being a 'great school' is dealing the bullying in an affective way. something even you admit this school has not done well. In my experience there aren't many 'great' schools that handle bullying in the same way this school has.
    Could you please explain which bits are 'over the top'???

  17. I could delete the post and take them to court would that make you happier?

    The Board of Trustees has still not even had the decency to even respond to our complaint made on 23 May.

    Do you think that is acceptable? They had a legal duty to take reasonable steps to keep my son safe. They failed. They have a legal duty to respond to correspondance received. They have failed to do that too.

    My son has gone through hell and their failure to deal with it properly, to turn a blind eye to it happening in the classroom, to inform us what was happening to inform the other parents of what their kids were doing, has hugely contributed to what he went through.

    What would you do if it was your kid?

    How would you know if your kid was not involved?

    Liston is a great school academically but on the bullying front they need to seriously change things but they don't seem to be taking this on board at all - they don't even have a bullying policy.

  18. Liston College is the best school ever
    Maybe your son needs to harden up!
    If you had left him at Liston maybe this would have happened.

  19. I thought schools were for education - not for "hardening people up".  Whatever that is a euphamism for.

  20. Absolutely disgusting response from the school.  I bet if one off their staff members had been assaulted this badly even once by another staff member the police would have been called and people would have been sacked.  The fact that they do not treat an assault on your son as seriously as an assault on an adult makes me think they may be in the wrong business.

    Assault is assault - and the age of the victim should not mean that it is ignored.

    I do not think your response was over the top at all.

  21. Thanks Max. Though I suspect the ChrisRooney who posted in the above thread is simply a flamer as the Principal of Liston College shares the same name (and I doubt it is him posting).

  22. When I typed 'Liston College' in Google, this blog post about bullying is in the top 10 results. Liston is stupid for not responding. The Internet never forgets.

  23. Yes, I was aware that our page rank was significantly higher than theirs so ensuring their name was in the title of this post, the tags, the first and last paragraphs and anchored with the URL pointing to their site meant we were pretty much guaranteed to be in the first few results of anyone googling "Liston College."

    Still no response, not even an acknowledgement from the Board. I'm assuming that they are looking at this as Christian has left the school so problem over.

    Of course it is true that Christian attracts bullies, there has been bullying at the new school, but the difference that phoning the parents of the bullies on the first instance and hauling them over the coals and threatening them with suspension on the first instance has made is amazing. The bullying has pretty much stopped - there has been none for weeks - Christian is not living in daily apprehension, is able to concentrate on his education and has only had about 2-3 panic attacks in total in the 2 months he has been at the new school - major improvement.

    He is still not happy about being in a non-Christian school, he finds the values of his peers extremely frustrating and the sex-ed classes so explicit he sits out, and is one of the only students who does. He is also finding that the workload, despite his being in the top stream at this school, is not as challenging as Liston's (he is a kid who likes to learn). But these are small prices to pay for not suffering panic attacks 4-5 times a week and feeling utterly alone and on edge every day at school.

  24. We have just amended our moderation rule:

    We don't moderate comments or ban commenters but for spam, comments that place us in legal jeopardy and personal abuse aimed at our children.

    So ChrisRooney, consider yourself banned from MandM for your personal attack on our son.

  25. Yep - good call.  As Eminem said...

    "There's a certain line you just don't cross and he crossed it
    I heard him say Hailie's name on a song and I just lost it"

    So MnM agrees with their namesake :)

  26. I take it you saw his comment? When I banned him his comment vanished, which I did not intend but then I am not familiar with the moderation controls as we rarely moderate.

  27. I also saw the comment by chris rooney that has disappeared.( I get updates of comment to my email if I have previously commented on a post.). I could not believe my eyes! No wonder we have bullying in schools when people like that feel they can attack someone in such a manner in an online forum. I think this person may actually be a teenager or a parent of one of the original bullies? Its disgusting! Well Done Mand M!

  28. Maybe we should report the school to the corect authorities and make them aware that they are allowing such brutal behaviour in their classrooms and are turning a blind eye.  I am prepared to do it.

  29. I think you are right Jennifer. Now I know that Christian was not the first I feel even more certain he won't the last child at Liston to be suffering as a result of the school's attitude.

    The fact that the Board of Trustees has not even responded acknowledgement of receipt of our formal complaint let alone attempted to answer it or provide some sort of explanation is appalling.

    Can you document any of your experience with them? Do you have emails or medical reports or police complaints? We have quite a bit and I can make an official information request regarding the one time we did report it to the police to get Christian's formal statement and the photos of his injuries that the police took. Your own recollections are still powerful evidence but anything more concrete is better.

    There are several options available, I think it is a matter of working out which one has the best teeth.

  30. I have the pictures and the letters from the youth department at the Police station to prove that they admitted what they did as they were all made to write apologies to Jake, they were not very good ones, I must admit.  Jakes was traumatised very badly by this and I had to home school him for nearly three months, before he could go to another school.  I also will ask the police department for jakes statements.  I never got a refund from the school at all.  I rember sending an email to Mrs Bunce and I think I still have it.  I will look for it and her reply.

    I will do what I can.  I have already contact the ERO and you can report them quite easliy with very little evidence.  If we could get hold of other students who have been pulled out for the same reasons, i think we might have a a better chance.

  31. Jakes experience was horrible, he was bullyied because of his size, the teachers found Jake in the room with the five boys that had locked him in it.  Jake was in a ball on the floor.  The teacher couldnt unlock the door because one of  the students had hold of it from the inside.  In the dark room they all set about him, punching him, kicking him, pushing him.  The teacher just told them all to go back to class and acted as though nothing had happened.  Mr Mckente was the teacher, that sent them back to there class.  The very first time that Jake was ever bullied, the school told me that Jake's safety was paramount.  Im sorry but walking away from what you can see was a group assault and very well planned, doesnt in my eyes make you a very good teacher or person.  I know at the time the seniors were doing their exams and the teacher used this as an excuse.  Even Mr Rooney didnt want to know.  The one boy that was expelled from the school, was only brought before the board because he had constantly been in trouble before.  Had he not he would have gotten away with it.  When I sent Jake to his new school, the expelled bully was there also.  I made the new school aware of the situation nd they dealt with it brilliantly, they made it clear to the boy what would happen if he were to approach Jake in anyway.  He only lasted at school for two terms before he was expelled again for causing trouble.

    Liston college needs a wake up call before somebody gets seriously hurt.  These boys they are teaching are children, and should be tought to coexist with each other not encouraged to fight.

  32. That is just awful. Did Liston even phone you or was Jake made to go back to class like Christian was?

    The first we'd ever hear about it would be when Christian got home. Even if he begged them to phone us and told them he was upset they would not.

    Contrast that with the new school (for those who don't know, both Jake and Christian are now in the same school) where if he needs us he is allowed to use the phone.

    How long ago did you remove Jake from Liston?

    I am just wondering about avenues we can pursue. There are a couple of Ministry of Education type options but from what I have found out they don't really have any powers - wet bus ticket type tellings off is about all they can do, there are so many complaints and not enough people investigating that they only look into the really terrible bullying anyway and that takes ages.

    We are about to send Liston's BOT another letter as we have graciously given them 3 months to read our 16 page complaint and respond which they have not. I could try taking them to court but there is no precedent for our demand for a refund so no guarantees there - apparently no one has tried that route though the education lawyer we spoke to agreed with me (my speciality is not education law) that it was an argument that might fly.

    I am wondering about Fair Go? Whether that would be simpler? It would embarrass the school, force them to take a long hard look at themselves - it is not like they have not been given an opportunity to sort this in house.

  33. Fair Go or John Campbell, let the nation knows about this

  34. I expect just the threat of court which would see your fees returned pretty quickly. It would mean their staff would be off work having to go to court, would be an administrative hassle, cost of lawyers.... etc etc

    They would work out that all up the court scenario would cost a lot more than giving the fees back would.

  35. ive been a teacher at liston for 8 years and christians dad needs to doggy style his son to teach him how to be a man, the reason why he's like that is because his dad was a fagg.  its the school of hard knocks.. its not a school for faggots like christian.. take him to henderson high school.. or move to dunedin.. lisitone 4 lyf.. madeleine do something better with your life and suck on these delicious curry nutz.. come and eat my sh!t.. good luck christian i hope you die!!

  36. liston student - shane stewartSaturday, 22 August 2009 at 1:15:00 AM NZST

    i agree with you saresh chandra christian was in my class and i bullied christian a few times.. the reason for this is that i caught christian masturbating while watching another student taking a sh!t.. we need people like chirstian in this world so we bully him and have fun at the same time.. thank you christian for letting me cum in your mouth..

  37. madeleine can you join us in a threesome while your husbane is watching.. let me know and i will arrange an appointment for you.. that will ease the bullying..

  38. christians mum looks like dried up dog sh!t

  39. The above 5 comments were all left by one person - click on more then on show users profile.

    That one person is a student at Liston who failed to protect his identity. IP addresses can be looked up. Both his school and his parents will be hearing from me and I am sure they will not be impressed by his impersonation of a teacher, of other students and the content of what he had to say which even if he deletes is still stored in the email notifications in my inbox.

  40. Aomeone is using my name... maybe I ought to register so I am unambigous....

  41. Give me his address and I will be happy to go teach him some manners.

  42. I saw that. At least he didn't have you saying the grotty things.

  43. True.. plus I use a capital 'M' ;)

  44. In case anyone was wondering why those messages attacking my son remained standing it was because my ability to moderate was down. JS-Kit worked very fast to help restore them when I pointed them to the comments. The IP is now blocked but copies are safely stored.

    Any tech people out there? Can you work some magic on for me and email me what you get? m_flannagan at NOSPM clear dot net dot nz

  45. I can't believe the vile comments that are being made " the real Max" they are not visable here but get delivered to my email . It is shocking! no one should have to put up with that sort of abuse!

  46. The commenter is one of the students who bullied Christian. That's some of what he was putting up with on a daily basis. Thankfully no more.


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