Thousands of students stood down from school

Children as young as five “with deep-set problems” are among more than 2000 Waikato students stood down from school last year for offences including sexual abuse, assault and drug use.

Waikato Principals’ Association chair and Marian Catholic School principal John Coulam said primary school students were not immune from being stood down for serious offences.

“Some five-year-old children come to school with deep-set problems that could be a result of being affected by drugs, alcohol,” he said.

“They come to school and they haven’t quite been socialised, they don’t know boundaries and they can be extremely disruptive.”

He knew of rare cases when primary students had been stood down for sexual misconduct.

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