The Herald this morning reports that Tyndale Park Christian School in Auckland is still beating its students - and has got away with it for fifteen years by refusing to tell the ERO about their disciplinary policies.
This is not something we should tolerate. The law is absolutely clear: no school employee, manager or owner is allowed to use corporal punishment. Those who do so are guilty of assault. This applies regardless of whether the person is Christian, Jewish, Atheist, or Muslim.
Religion is not a blank cheque to violate the law. And if this school thinks it is, and refuses to cooperate in changing its policies, they need to be sent avery clear message that it is not. While I doubt the Education Act would allow the school to be deregistered (that would require showing that the school was not "efficient" - and preventing students from being physically abused by school authorities is sadly not part of the requirement), the Minister can impose a manager or appoint a Commissioner. These powers apply even to private schools - and if such schools persist in thinking that they are above the law and that they can assault the students in their care, it is high time they were used.