‘Girl’ and ”lady’ ban?

Teachers should not refer to pupils as “girls” or “ladies” because it means they are “constantly reminded of their gender”, the Government’s former mental health tsar has said.

Natasha Devon told headteachers of the country’s leading girls’ schools that they should be using gender-neutral language when they address their students, and added that the same applied for boys.

Speaking at the Girls’ School Association’s annual conference in Manchester, she said that she would “never walk into a room in an-all girls’ school and say girls or ladies” because it was “patronising”.

I agree with Judith Collins on this.

Police fail to act against abuse of drunk girls

The failure of the police to charge offenders who deliberately got young girls drunk, took compromising photos and posted them online is very disappointing.

NZ Herald reports: Warnings for Roast Busters II

“The boys had a competition where they would get young girls drunk and they would dangle their genitalia over their faces and take photos,” he said.

“The competition was how many girls you could get into those compromising photos.”

“The police were involved. The boys involved received a warning and weren’t prosecuted.”

It may be that the schoolboys involved have been thought to have been dealt with adequately outside of the courts, but this sends a terrible message.

And if one of my daughters or grand daughters was abused like this and it appeared that the offenders were let off lightly I’d be very annoyed.

If the police ever do decide to send a message and prosecute appalling behaviour like this the offenders may be unlucky to have been chosen to be example setters.

But it’s far worse for past and future victims if this sort of behaviour is swept under society’s carpet.

New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Association executive member Patrick Walsh, chairman of a high-powered Government group to counter cyber-bullying among school students, is dismayed no one was prosecuted.

Walsh, who declined to reveal the school involved, was told of the incident by the principal of the teens’ school.

I think the school was revealed in initial media reports when this story broke.

“What they are doing is criminal and totally unacceptable. In my view they do need to be charged, convicted and a message [sent] to teenagers across the country that this is totally unacceptable.”

I agree.

Police would not comment on the case but said: “We take all allegations of sexual misconduct and assault very seriously and investigate them appropriately.”

That’s not how it looks here.

Walsh said the the cases backed disturbing findings from an earlier survey that showed the Roast Busters case was not an isolated incident.

He said the time had come to stop a destructive teen culture, adding there was a hardcore group of schoolboys who thought they were entitled to harass, bully and intimidate others using technology.

“I don’t think they should go to prison. [Instead] fines, community work and compulsory attendance at programmes to address their attitude should be part of the penalty.”

Parents and schools have a responsibility to make it clear to children and pupils that abusive behaviour like this is totally unacceptable.

Auckland University law lecturer Dr Bill Hodge said there was scope under the new Harmful Digital Communications Act to put the statute to the test in incidents like those.

“This seems worse than bullying but it would seem to fit into that and would be something worth exploring,” said Hodge.

But it needs the police to actually act appropriately and deal to behaviour like this.