Friday, February 16, 2024

Heather du Plessis-Allan: We're way too chill about kids missing class

Let me tell you something that happened today.

This morning, David Seymour was on the radio with Mike Hosking, outlining his plans to tackle truancy in this country by enforcing the rules so that parents cop fines if they don’t send their kids to school.

Only about 2.5 hours later, over on ZM, a mum entered a competition to get herself and her daughter to the Taylor Swift show in Melbourne tomorrow.

And even though it was 10 to 10 in the morning and school had started at least 50 minutes earlier, her daughter was at home with her and talking on the radio

Her daughter was home with a sniffle, which became a bit of a running joke because it was clearly a ‘sniffle’ bad enough to keep her home from school but not bad enough to keep her home from a Taylor Swift concert in Melbourne.

Now look, I don't want to be a Grinch to her. Taylor Swift is huge, the tickets are hard to come by, it’d be a wonderful experience for any school kid to go to Taylor Swift, especially overseas.

But it kind of made the point, didn’t it?

The truancy was a joke on the radio. That’s how chill we are about kids missing class.

The 3rd term of last year, 54 percent of kids skipped at least one day every two weeks. Now we can debate whether David Seymour's plan will change that. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. 

There’s a case to say it won’t, because the law already exists. Parents can already cop a fine of $300 if they get busted and they just ignore it.

And if you don’t care about your child enough to send them to school, I hardly think someone else caring and fining you is gonna change your mind.

But at least it signals a change of attitude in Government.

I would rather have the Government try everything to get kids back to school, even if some of it doesn’t work, than try nothing.

And I hope it actually works. After love and safety, education is the most important thing you can give your child.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


CXH said...

'After love and safety, education is the most important thing you can give your child.' - sadly a growing number get zero out of three.

Tom L said...

Heather , never mention self discipline , or personal responsibility , or going to school every day.

They are three of the fundamental planks of the wealthy and successful. And such concepts should not be shared around.

My partners dad and my own were both tradesmen. Between us we have 5 kids. Those kids have 8 degrees between them. Three of their partners also have degrees. These are in engineering, sciences ,law, economics, and business studies The majority of these degrees are with honours, two of them at masters level and a doctoral degree on the way. Not a degree in kapa haka or cultural studies in sight. All but one owned their own home by the age of 30.

I went to school unless I was genuinely unwell. And my own and my partners kids the same. Education is the basis of success. And attendance is the basis of success at school.

Don't bother telling anyone Heather , if they can't figure this out for themselves they can't be told. It's a simple as that.

Nor can you espouse such ideas as personal responsibility, or self discipline in our society . It's just not woke . And above all we must be woke . We simply must be woke . Every one is a victim you know . Every one is a victim Heather.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn’t worry about my children participating in current education system either.

Gaynor said...

Maybe the daughter is badly bullied at school since NZ has one of the highest rates of this in the OECD countries, or has she failed to be taught in the basics and sits languishing in class year i year out feeling stupid because she can't read or do basic maths. Once again our stats in these area are appalling being the lowest in the English speaking world. Then there is the transgender agenda being taught in schools which 90% of parents do not want. Neither do they want Critical Race Theory rammed down their children's throats. Perhaps the parents don't subscribe to anthropomorphic global warming ideas religiously promoted in schools . O dear there is even more conflict over mandated vaccines and the parent may disagrees with this as well. Actually the list of horrors is not complete and I could have gone into the prevailing lack of discipline and morality along with lack of work ethic..

Please don't call what is going on in our schools 'education' in the traditional sense . It is most certainly not that much of the time but call it what it is ;Social Engineering' towards a socialist state . This is and always was the main driver for progressive education, the dominant philosophy of our present and past mis educational establishment from mid-last century and now in full bloom now,

Anonymous said...

For those who believe it is OK for our children to be forcibly indoctrinated into socialism which is currently what schools are doing should read ELe Ludemann's article posted on this site today entitled 'Socialism is always and everywhere an impoverishing phenomenon.'. It has definitely not enriched our educational system academically either.

Anonymous said...

Students in a Seattle English class were told that their love of reading and writing is a characteristic of “white supremacy,” in the latest Seattle Public Schools high school controversy. The lesson plan has one local father speaking out, calling it “educational malpractice.”

Robert Arthur said...

The m.d.o known to the older generation is a well established part of tikanga and te ao. ("maori day off")