Quick Hit: Howick Community Put Stop To Special School Plans | Stuff.co.nz

Howick Community Put Stop To Special School Plans | Stuff.co.nz.

From the article:

“A report on opposition to a proposed school for troubled youth, meant to open this year, revealed prejudices and racist views harboured by a well-off Auckland community. Thurston Place College was to be built in Howick to cater for up to 100 young people in Child Youth and Family care, between Years 7 and 13, who authorities believed would benefit from an alternative education. Plans to open the $6.3 million facility near two junior schools were canned last month after intense community opposition led by the Buckland’s Beach Action Society and the Stop Thurston Place College campaign. The troubled students will instead stay in regular schools where they will receive extra support.”

The story smacks of racial and class privilege, with a healthy heaping of  a not in my back yard attitude.  Allegedly the group named in the passage resorted “to vandalism of school property, harassment, and unfounded scare tactics.” The belief of this group was that such a school in their neighborhood would put members at the community at risk, calling it a “prep-school for Mount Eden Prison”.   Teenagers who are struggling at school – even if they have behavioral issues are not equivalent to criminals which is what they have been overtly labeled as here. The fact that society has explicitly told them in this instance that they are unworthy  will however,  do nothing to prevent them from becoming criminals.  Imagine if someone called the cops on you just for seeing you somewhere where they have arbitrarily decided you should not be – something that members of the community have threatened to do.  This is marginalisation.
If you believe that this has nothing to do with racism the fact that someone has been quoted as saying  ”If I wanted to be surrounded by these cultures, I’d have bought a house in South Auckland.” should hopefully disabuse you of that notion.

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