New Zealand journalism student accused of assaulting classmate delayed return to school


An investigation into alleged problems at the school was launched last year. Photo / 124rf

The return to school of a New Zealand Broadcasting School student accused of assaulting a classmate has been delayed.

Last month, the Herald revealed that other students had said they did not feel safe the man would return this semester despite being charged with assaulting another student last year. last.

A leaked email shows the learner, who was due to return yesterday, will now be ‘reintegrated’ into on-site learning at a later date.

“We have drafted the health and safety plan based on your feedback and will share this draft with you for consultation at the start of the new term,” the email reads.

The young man faces two charges of assault and one charge of intentionally damaging a vehicle.

A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said last month that people felt a lot of fear, anxiety and danger upon his return.

“The school is setting up a situation where we are at an unreasonable risk of this happening again.”

A letter, signed by 18 journalism students and seen by the Herald, was sent to the school administration protesting the decision to allow the student to return.

The document asked whether the active assault charges met the behavioral standards required for admission.

“Secondly, I ask the Ara Institute in Canterbury what protective measures will be put in place to ensure our safety around this student, and to stop these [alleged] no repeat offenses – because if admitted, I will no longer feel safe on campus,” it read.

The Herald understands that the student victim of the alleged assault is no longer at school.

Another student at the broadcasting school, who also asked not to be named, felt the school was not a safe environment for him to study.

The student told the Herald last month that it was inappropriate and possibly insensitive to allow him to return while the people he would have affected were still at school.

“It’s like a slap in the face to have him in the same building with people terrified of him.”

A spokesperson for Ara told the Herald that the school does not comment on the status of individual students.

Ara’s acting general manager, Darren Mitchell, said last month that they were unable to discuss or provide information about his learners due to confidentiality concerns.

“The safety and well-being of Ara learners and colleagues is a major concern for the institute and we have put in place a range of strict procedures to ensure a safe learning environment.

“When a potential issue is identified, we work with learners and colleagues to understand the concerns and take steps to address them appropriately. These actions will vary depending on the situation.”

Last year an investigation was opened into alleged problems at the school, including bullying and harassment, after the Herald reported.

One former student alleged at the time that they were told to change their foreign accent, others said bullying was not addressed and two said women were not allowed to have sex. natural hair in front of the camera.

A man who studied there said the sometimes awkward culture within parts of the broadcasting industry was established inside the institution.

He thought it had “seriously set back my development as a person”.

“Pretty severe depression and anxiety from this place. And not because of the job but because of the school culture.”

He said he believes many of the issues highlighted in MediaWorks’ Dew report, regarding sexual harassment and bullying, started at school.


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