Another brick in the wall: cops in schools

Don Franks

Police officers are being stationed inside ten South Auckland schools.

From March, five officers will each spend 30 hours a week in the secondary schools, and another five staff will join them later.

Manukau City Councilor Daniel Newman says the aim is to cut crime outside of school, to draw children away from gangs, and to gather information on suspects.

Minister of Police Annette King claims the project will help young people regain confidence in the police. The Minister has yet to win the confidence of the professionals currently responsible for those young people.

Auckland Post Primary Principals’ Association regional chair Gerald van Waardenberg teaches at Otahuhu college, one of the schools which will have a police officer. He said there has been no consultation, and was surprised at the news.

“It’s in no way clear what kind of a role the police will have within the school, whether they’ll be approaching students directly, what the police will actually be doing.”

Mr van Waardenberg says the community may also be unhappy about a police officer being stationed at the school.

Youth law senior solicitor John Hancock says youth rights could be breached if law enforcement was one of the scheme’s intentions.

Long serving schoolteacher and Quality Public Education Coalition national chairman John Minto called for the proposal to be abandoned. “Schools are educational institutions and are not there to provide captive audiences to encourage children to inform on their friends and families,” he said.

The proposal is not likely to be abandoned without a determined, concerted protest, and at the moment that doesn’t look likely. Libertarians fond of railing against “nanny state” tend to fall silent when the state’s police take centre stage. And the left has yet to realise the connections between the “terror” raids and the school-based bobby keeping an eye on little Johnny.

Like Labour’s heavy-handed anti-graffiti laws, the cops-in-schools imposition will do nothing to better the lot of poor-area working class youth. Nor is it really intended to. The basic function of police in a capitalist society is the enforceable protection of private property As this country’s gap between rich and poor grows wider, a sizable section of the poorer population is written off by the authorities.

Putting more teachers in schools would be a positive move.

Replacing extra teachers with cops is a punitive measure that can only increase the anger and bitterness of miscreants that capitalist deprivation has shaped.

5 Replies to “Another brick in the wall: cops in schools”

  1. positive…pff..! far from it!

    im offended..!
    where were they when my school (otahuhu college) WAS actually violent and run down by gangs and junvenile teens?
    just chillin’ at the station having coffee and biscuits! they’re here but its too late… we’ve managed to save ourselves from gangs and drugs! YES! ourselves. you wernt there when we needed you and we become better people and matured through our own strength.and to think we wanna put our confidence in you… NO WAY!!!

    and they’re gonna say theres still violence occouring in schools… yeah there is… from 14yr olds trying to prove themselves. im there involved with the school so i know whats going on. you cant tell me nothing. i cant quote it but i read that you’ll never be more angry than u are at 14. as far as my mates and i are concerned… there not welcome into my school. you do not have my respect because of your blue shirt and funky hat.

    LEAVE and don’t waste taxpayers money. i promise it will not be positive. you will cause rebellion because you create oppresion within us. You! Policeman standing at the front gate in school reminding us of what our stereotype is…reassuring others looking down on us.
    Thanks a Bunch…


  2. Police in Schools. They now have Police on the university of Auckland campus. Why? my guess is for intell gathering off the international students. New Zeland xenophobia in action. The university student council appears to support this move. I thought universities where a place of learning and expressing ideas. Perhaps not.

  3. That’s certainly a possibility, but I don’t think it’s the only reason by any means. The police are on campus to repress ALL students, not just international ones, and should be opposed on that basis.

    Here in Dunedin the cops are being called onto campus to deal with the NORML-organized cannabis protests, where at 4.20 every few days people gather on the university lawn and smoke pot. Despite the University promising that Campus Cops would NOT be set on the cannabis protesters, and despite them also promising that the regular police would not be called out, both those promises are being broken.

    Perhaps a campaign against police presence on campus might be a good idea? The Workers Party would be keen to get involved in organising something like that.

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