Waiuku mum scared to send son to school after child hospitalised from violent fight

  • 16/06/2021
A stock photo of kids fighting
Photo credit: Getty Images

A mum in the Auckland region rural town of Waiuku says she is scared to send her son to school after a child was hospitalised from a violent schoolyard fight. 

Kristyn Endt's 16-year-old son goes to Waiuku College and has been harassed and bullied by a group of kids for years. 

Endt says the kids have hassled her son since he returned to the school two years ago but it has gotten worse this year. 

"When my son was in Year 10 there were a few kids giving him shit from the get-go so I went into the office and sat down with the Deans and tried to sort it all out.

"It calmed down a little bit but never really stopped so then the group got bigger and started hounding my son and his mates all the time and then the last two or three weeks have been absolutely horrific," she told Newshub. 

She says the bullying has become so bad there have been numerous violent fights, with multiple ending with a kid hurt.

A few weeks ago one of her son's friends was beaten so badly he had to seek medical attention, she says. 

"He was so severely beaten he was in a medical centre with two black eyes. His face was cut, his mouth was bleeding, his nose was bleeding, it was terrible."

She says she was forced to break up a violent fight on Monday when she was picking her son up. 

"I essentially told them [kids], 'just cut it out, it's absolute bullshit and you don't even know what you're fighting over'."

She says the kid who was hurt in the fight had to be hospitalised because he had a gash on his head from being "punched into a shed with corrugated iron sticking out". 

"I'm pretty sure he was knocked out because when I saw him his eyes were rolling." 

St John told Newshub one ambulance was called to the school at 3.35pm on Monday. 

A spokesperson said one patient in moderate condition was transported to Middlemore Kidz First Children's Hospital.

Endt says she's had multiple conversations with the school, some in writing, but nothing has happened. 

"I need to see the end of this. I feel sick as a mother… My son is getting excellences and merits in all his classes. He loves school, he wants to keep going and there is nowhere else for him to go, he doesn't want to go anywhere else, it's just these kids." 

Endt says the violence is so bad her younger child is terrified of what will happen to him when he starts college. 

"My young boy walks from his school through the college each day and I am now having to organise him getting on a bike and coming the other way home or picking him up because… he is absolutely terrified on a daily basis walking through the school."

The school's Principal Tom Vanderlaan called her after the fight to discuss the issue, but she says it's not enough. 

Vanderlaan told Newshub he contacted Endt on Monday and Tuesday to discuss and address her concerns. But he says the school cannot provide more details due to privacy issues. 

"As a school we are bound by both privacy and ethical considerations when responding to information supplied to media, something which sadly does not apply to views expressed and information posted on social media and shared to you.

"All schools, us included, have robust measures for dealing with bullying complaints and incidents of violence. We also follow thorough procedures when deciding on consequences such as stand downs or suspensions."  

Ministry of Education deputy secretary sector engagement and support Helen Hurst said they're aware of the incident and have contacted the school.

"We understand that the principal has contacted the parent directly. The school has clear policies and procedures in place to manage this type of unacceptable behaviour.

"We have also spoken with the parent to respond to their concerns and offer support if needed.

"When we receive complaints, including allegations of bullying, we will in the first instance direct the complaint to the School Board to respond. School Boards are responsible for investigating and managing complaints and concerns. If Boards are unable to respond to an issue they have at their school, we’ll work with them to provide support."