Friday, November 17, 2006
New Zealand politician and head of the United Future party, Peter Dunne, has defended the group of 12 girls from St Margaret's College who attempted to do an "undie run" through Christ's College. Both schools are located in Christchurch, New Zealand.
According to newspaper, The Press, the 12 year 13 (seventh form) girls were stopped by staff who worked for Christ's College when they arrived at the school in their underwear.
It has been reported that the girls' punishment is to banned from the Leavers Dinner that takes place at the end of the year. Dunne replied to this report by saying: "Let’s put this into perspective. It's simply end of year hijinks. There is no malice involved and in comparison with other activities that teenagers get themselves into, this really is at the low end of the spectrum. I agree that schools need to be vigilant especially as the end of year approaches, however I think they may have gone a little over the top in punishing students for what is traditionally a harmless bit of fun."
Dunne said: "The tradition of undie runs at Christchurch high schools has been going on for many years in good spirits. Such heavy-handedness is political correctness gone mad. It is traditional for Christchurch schools to get up to such antics at this time of year. While the public expects a certain standard of behaviour I would doubt if many people would be offended by such an event as occurred on Monday."
It is said by a person that works for Mr. Dunne that he may have participated in the "undie runs" when he was a teenager.
Simon Leese, principal of Christ's College, said: "Underwear runs were a dangerous practice."
Claudia Wysocki, executive principal of St Margaret's College, did not comment as it is private and only concerns the girls involved, their parents and the school.
Dunne said: "Kids will be kids; if we are unnecessarily pedantic they will inevitably be compelled to rebel in more destructive ways."
== Sources ==
Dan Eaton. "Dunne defends undie runs" — The Press, November 17, 2006
Press Release: United Future NZ Party. "Harmless hijinks harshly punished, says Dunne" — Scoop, November 16, 2006