My mommy smacked me.
With the removal or alteration of section 59 primary school teachers will face new challenges.
Q. If a child reports to a teacher, that “my mommy smacked me”, is the teacher obliged to report this to the police?
Q. Will it be education policy that teachers report any child’s complaint to the police?
Q. Will it be an employment issue is a teacher does not report a child’s complaint?
Q. If a child’s complaint is reported to the police, will the child be interviewed without the parent’s knowledge?
Q. Who will interview the child, the police, a psychologist, Child Youth and family, or any or all of the above?
Q. If a prosecution is brought, will the child be allowed to return to their home that day?
Q. If a mother is arrested will the father be considered a safe parent?
Q. Will the child be allowed to go home but the not the mother?
Q. If a complaint is taken will either parent be allowed to talk to the teacher who is a witness?
Q. If the child complainant is a twin will the twin or any other siblings be interviewed?
Q. Will the child be expected to give evidence against the parent?
Q. At what age is the child a competent witness?
Q. At what age is the child a compellable witness.
Q. Which court will have jurisdiction, at what age, family court or district court?
Q. Will teachers tell children that if you are smacked at home you can ring the police on 111, so they don’t get put in a difficult position?
Q. Will it be police policy to prosecute in every teachers report in the interests of child safety?
Q. Will children move classes so teachers will make these reports don’t have to deal with the parents whom they have reported?
Q. Will the really abusive parents tend not to send their children to school?
Q. How many teacher days will be lost to court appearances?
It is not just a case of changing the law, how will these situations be handled?