Government Mandates Are Leaving Children Behind - New Conservative NZ

Government Mandates Are Leaving Children Behind

Anxiety. Fear. Depression. These should never be terms used as norms for the youth in our communities. Yet the reality is that these words have shifted from rare to a more common theme of what we are witnessing in our children and young adults.

Then if we throw exclusion into the mix we have some alarming concerns for the well-being and mental state of our next generation.

At an age when they should be exploring the environment around them, being challenged, and given all opportunities to try new experiences, there are many who are not.  Not only are they fearful due to the constant messages on Covid, daily updates spewing out high numbers of those with Covid (as if those people don’t recover, but they are NOT dying) creating a fear narrative for our children, these children are being left out, turned out, and turned away from their usual activities of life. This is a crucial time in their development about the world around them and learning how people treat others.

The discrimination towards many of our children is leaving a scar on our nation that we all need to be ashamed of and this is expanding into their learning environments.

A recent study from the Education Review Office shows that students’ behaviour has deteriorated, and their academic achievement is concerning.  The survey lists students as struggling and experiencing high anxiety.

“New entrants with violent behaviour is something we have never seen en masse.”

Children are not able to continue with dance classes, are excluded from school camps, and children are not allowed to participate in their end-of-year assemblies! What are we teaching our children about their role in society?

Children have been told they cannot enter their school hall with the other students – they can sit in the classroom and be together during recess but cannot enter a hall to attend their final assembly. One such boy reflected on how his mates will all be there without him. Anything to do with the curriculum, he is allowed in, but because the end-of-year assembly does not fit in the curriculum they have to discriminate. This child was also informed, on that same day, he will not be allowed in the school camp.

Another child was left out of swimming with the rest of his class and had to stay back with the rest of the ‘outcasts.’ He felt anxious and gutted and recently got jabbed because he didn’t want to miss out anymore.

Another child is upset that her parents cannot attend her leaving ceremony, something all parents are proud of as their child moves on to the next stage in life, and the heart-felt support those children need during this time is being ripped away from them.

In the heart of Christchurch East is an organisation that helps keep kids off the streets. They play midnight basketball which promotes social interaction, well-being and they are fed and mentored. “It’s all about keeping kids off the streets,” said the Lead Coach Nate Searle. Last week they had to turn vulnerable kids away.

A dance class ‘had’ to exclude a 14-year-old recently. He said, “It’s not fair. I can hang out with my dance friends anywhere but in the studio, because when we go there, the traffic light system says we must be separated based on our choice to take a jab or not. I’ve practiced so hard to get here and now I can’t dance with my mates” 

New Conservative is deeply concerned that this government has focussed on the exclusion of healthy people amounting to punishment, rather than on how to include those who choose to exercise their free choice. Their motto has been, “No Child Left Behind.” But in reality, many children are being left behind. With rapid antigen testing, some common sense and a little compassion, there is a way to include all and relieve the costly anxiety, fear and depression that is becoming the next pandemic.

No child left behind? Many children are being left behind.

For further information contact:
Helen Houghton (Christchurch)
Co-Leader New Conservative

Ted Johnston BSc BA LLB (Auckland)
Co-Leader New Conservative