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This week’s Year Level meeting was packed full of goodness. Thanks to Ruth and Madi for your awareness raising activity in relation to safe driving. There’ll be more to come on that one.

Year 13 Clothing and Appearance

The subject of Year 13 student uniform and appearance is a live one at the moment. Charlotte and I are working on ensuring a proper consultation process is put into action, and our best effort at representing your views has been published in the position paper in a previous newsletter to you. You continue to be welcome to contribute to that document and process with your views.

In the interim, Mr Crosbie, in his position as Assistant Principal, has made a temporary determination specifically about facial hair. He has said that students may not be excluded from class due to their having facial hair, however students should be asked to be clean shaven. Teachers have been asked to refer a student to Mr Crosbie if they refuse to comply with the direction to shave. In addition to this, students may approach Mr Bosley to get a written exemption from the requirement that they shave.

If you would like any help navigating this contested territory at the moment, please be invited to come to us.

Asserting your Basic Rights as a Citizen

Today’s main topic in our Year Level meeting concentrated on the rights that we all have to live free of harassment and persecution. These are rights that apply to all New Zealanders, and are not specific to school. Here’s a summary of the recourse available to you if you feel your rights or dignity have been impinged upon.

In addition to the right to dignity, free expression and freedom from persecution, there are special rights awarded to minors and people in state education.

  1. You can speak to, or write to the person concerned, outlining your objection and asking them to desist.
  2. Charlotte and I, as your Deans are employed to advocate for you in the school. We can mediate meetings, help you write letters, advocate for you and provide practical and emotional support. We can also help you make contact with further agencies.
  3. You can speak to, or write to the Senior Leadership Team at the school. (Mr Crosbie, Mr Shephard, Ms Ashton and Mr Bosley.)
  4. You can approach the Board of Trustees, either via your student representative, Bronson Toghill, or by making direct contact with the Chair.
  5. The Ministry of Education can be contacted here.
  6. Often you can get support from Advocacy Groups whose role is to support people who experience breaches to their rights due to many diverse aspects of their being, such as gender, sexuality, sexual identity, disability, race and religion. We can assist you to get in touch with these groups.
  7. New Zealand has an organisation called the Citizen’s Advice Bureau who are there to assist all citizens with advice about rights, responsibilities and to connect us with agencies designed to support our rights as citizens. They have a very useful “frequently asked questions” section.
  8. The Human Rights Commission have a number of departments whose job it is to advocate for New Zealand citizens whose rights have been infringed.
  9. Make a free appointment with Community law Otago. They have lawyers who can advise you and who can also take on your case if they choose to. They do not charge for this.
  10. It would cost you, but you can also instruct a Lawyer to represent you.

If you do experience an incident where you believe your rights have been infringed upon, whichever path you follow, you also have a right to have another person present in either a silent or an advocacy role. Often it is not advisable to try to have these conversations by yourself.

Remember, our assertion was that in challenging everyone around us to treat others with fairness and dignity, and calling each other out if we believe we’ve fallen short of these standards is how we fulfil our obligation to build a healthy and positive society.

It’s also useful for you to note that if you impinge upon the rights of others, they also have recourse to the same remedies that you would if the situation were reversed. As you are now entering the world of adulthood, and thus become eligible for the rights of an adult citizen, you also take on the commensurate responsibilities.

Home Study for Weeks 15-16

This fortnight’s Home Study list is possibly our longest yet. You continue to impress us with your self-discipline. This achievement is made all the more impressive as your Students in the Community volunteer hours are also now part of the criteria for Home Study.

As long as you meet the Home Study criteria (zero unjustified absences and an average score of over 3 for your fortnightly grades) and have clocked some volunteer hours on the Students in the Community site, you are free to leave the school during your study periods.


Charlotte’s Notices:

  • Telford Taster Weeks – for those interested in Equine Studies, Apiculture, Farm Skills and Stock Management you may want to look into a holiday Telford Taster Week
  • NZ Broadcasting School and ARA Polytechnic Christchurch invite you to a meeting next Wednesday 29th to learn about their courses ranging from Outdoor Ed to Nursing and from Performing Arts to Engineering. As this is National Teacher Strike Day this meeting is currently planned for 11 am at Relishes Cafe.
  • Winter Sports Programme; if you plan to take part in a winter snowsports programme you will need to complete an application form for Mr Bosley and meet with your deans to discuss how we may best support you. Please check this process with the Sports Coordinator.
  • Aspiring Leaders Youth Forum: The Aspiring Leaders’ Forum is an annual event that brings together 120 young leaders from around Aotearoa to discuss leadership from a narrative point of view. This year’s forum will be held from 27-30 June in Wellington. This opportunity is supported by Rotary. Check with us for details.
  • Free Career Planning! Sign up under the passion fruit on the MAC Careers Website to join a small group of students on Wednesday afternoons for 4 weeks and work with a trained facilitator on nailing your next steps.
  • First Aid course – this Saturday’s course starts at 9 am sharp in Rooms 23 and 24.

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.

With warm regards

Charlotte, Liz and Chris


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