Kia ora e te whanau
This weekend gone was Pentecost. The Advocate promised by Christ enters the believing community to guide and protect it until the second coming. Apart from being a very beautiful feast, the day of Pentecost is a celebration of God's hand guiding the Christian community through the trials and decisions that are presented to it. The Education and Training Act 2020 now requires us to consult with students, staff and our parent community around any major changes we make to our rules and policies. Recently we included a survey in the newsletter about student attendance at the School Ball; this decision is currently going through consultation with the staff and students and today we include a survey on our Uniform Policy around tattoos and, in particular, Ta Moko. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your discernments at all times, and we look forward to receiving your feedback. I will let you know the decision on Ball attendance in due course.
It has come to our attention that there is increased vaping use among students here at school. We know it is happening in the toilets at break times and several students have been caught with vapes in their bag or in their pockets at school, already this year. We know that the main users are boys, and we know that it is the vapers who are breaking the toilet seats in the boy’s toilets causing the school hundreds of dollars in damage each time, due to boys standing on them to keep watch. These hundreds of dollars could be spent on better things around the school like sports equipment. As of November 11th last year, it became illegal for anyone to vape on our school grounds, either during school hours or after. It is also illegal, as I am sure you are aware, for anyone under the age of 18, to vape.
We know the consequences of smoking cigarettes and today for a young person to take up that habit, they do that knowing it can lead to lung cancer etc, later in life. Vaping and e-cigarettes were originally invented to help addicted smokers give up, not to give people a healthier alternative. At assembly this week I focussed on educating students around the health risks, but as a further deterrent I need all parents and caregivers to understand the consequences if a student is caught vaping or caught with a vape in their bag or on their person. In the first instance, parents will be called and students will receive an internal stand down where they will be removed from classes and given different break times from their peers. If students are honest and hand in their vaping equipment before being caught, they will receive a warning and home contacted. Further instances could lead to external stand downs and/or suspension to the Board of Trustees. All vaping equipment will be destroyed and not returned to the student or parent.
I apologise for the negative tone in this week’s newsletter but I feel I need to draw attention to all of our community to this growing concern.
Lastly, I would like to thank the St Peter’s College Rugby Committee and Mrs Julie Watkins, our Rugby Administrator on staff, for organising an outstanding Quiz Night last Friday at the Town and Country Club. We could also not have envisioned the huge support we received from all of our community in attending, spending and quizzing! Thank you all for helping us raise over $21,000 for our rugby students.
Link to the uniform policy survey: