Schools, Parents Lawyer Up Over After-School Clubs

In New Zealand, some parents are ready to sue
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2015 5:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Parents and school officials in New Zealand have turned to lawyers over the question of which students will be allowed into school musicals and sports clubs, the New Zealand Herald reports. The news that school principals, government officials, and government lawyers are huddling to plan legal strategy follows a few high-profile cases over the past year. Among them:

  • Parents going to lawyers after teachers refused to choose their children in school musicals.
  • A judge forcing highly regarded St Bede's College to reinstate two rowers who had been suspended for violating security at Auckland Airport.
  • Lawyers "called in" after students failed to get spots on school debating teams, the Herald says.
  • St. John's College in Hastings being told after a judicial review to pay $24,000 in costs for suspending a student who refused to cut his hair, Radio New Zealand reported last year.

Education has become "high stakes," says a school official. "[The parents'] view is being selected for ... school musicals or top debating team provides a platform and career opportunities, where if they miss out it may adversely affect opportunities." Another school official tells Radio New Zealand that it's "very sad ... because schools are in partnership with parents, and we really look to parents to work with the school." No word yet from the parents who are apparently ready to use their legal heft in such cases.

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