South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 22nd March 2019

    22nd Mar 2019

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    Following the attacks in Christchurch last week the school community have been very much aware of the pain and suffering for families of those killed in the attacks and those that have sought to help. The school has actively sought to support the work of local police by asking that students delete and not share contents of the video of the attacks. More recently the Ministry of Education have issued the following statement and advice:

    Advisory for schools in relation to Christchurch shooting videos

     Netsafe has received a number of reports of online content relating to the attacks in Christchurch. Footage of the attacks has been deemed objectionable under New Zealand law which means that possessing or distributing the footage is an offence. Anyone who finds footage of the attacks online should report it to Netsafe at netsafe.org.nz/report but they should not keep copies or share it. Netsafe encourages schools to speak with students about what to do if they come across the footage and about the fact that sharing the footage with this classification is against the law.

     The footage of the Christchurch attacks is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see. If students have viewed the video and are struggling with what they have seen it’s likely they will require additional support. Agencies which can provide free support include YouthlineNeed to Talk and Kidsline.

     While the content is online there is some risk that children or young people may come across it. Netsafe encourages schools and parents to proactively discuss with young people what they should do if they come across distressing content online. Further information is available at netsafe.org.nz/upsetting-content

     If parents or schools have questions relating to this incident or other distressing online content they can contact Netsafe for free and confidential advice at netsafe.org.nz or call 0508 NETSAFE.

    I would hope and expect that parents will support the school and the wider community by actively monitoring their children’s use of social media.

    Measels

    Also this week we have been informed that there have been no new measles cases in our region. I would ask that family and whanau remain vigilant and contact their health professional if they suspect that their child may be developing symptoms.

    The Ministry of Education is advising students who may be travelling to the Canterbury region to check their immunisation and be aware of the risk of contracting this disease.

    Parent helpers on trips and camps

    As part of our work as a school under the Vulnerable Children’s Act we are required to perform certain checks where we may have parents who may be assisting with student excursions and overnight activities. Where parents are assisting the teacher in charge will be able to discuss with you the appropriate checks based upon the activities being undertaken. This is to ensure that the safety and well being of our students is maintained and that the Board of Trustee Policies are complied with.

     Y9 Survey

    Each year we survey our new Y9 students and their families. This year this was done using an on line form and the return rate was the best in the four years that I have been doing it! Thank you to all the students and parents who completed the survey. As in previous years, we offer a $50 Warehouse voucher to one person who has completed the survey. This year the voucher was presented to Laila Asman during assembly on Tuesday. Below are some of our favourite comments:

    • I like the people, teachers, staff because they are all very caring and helpful.
    • I really like the kindness of the staff. They do everything to make sure that all the students learn well and they make learning more enjoyable. I also like the older kids.
    • I like how there are more opportunities and how I’m learning more things.
    • How nice the older kids can be and all the activities you can join.
    • I like how the school is always showing values and you can be involved in heaps of activities and everyone is always friendly and smiling.
    • The kindness that all the students show, mostly the seniors

    Finally

    Congratulations to Tia Vali in Y13 who has been selected for a trial for the New Zealand Youth Touch Team. The selection weekend is later in the year and we wish Tia all the best in this trial.

    Have a great long weekend and make the most of the break

    Ka kite ano

    Mr Mike Wright

    Principal