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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 26) – Teachers at Roman Catholic schools in Samoa have been warned to be ready for the consequences if they assault students.

The director of Catholic education, Aeau Chris Hazelman, has told a seminar that there has been an increase in complaints against teachers, with four taken to court last year.

He told the teachers that there is a line that must not be crossed.

Teachers have complained that their rights to discipline students have been put aside in favour of students’ rights.

But a long-standing Catholic policy forbids teachers from striking students.

A guide from the 1980s says only a principal can physically discipline a student.

Students face a warning, suspension or expulsion for misbehaviour.

Police are currently investigating an incident at St. Joseph’s College where two male students attacked a male teacher.

Local media say the teacher had allegedly assaulted a female student, who was a relative of the two boys accused of the attack.

July 27, 2004

Radio New Zealand International:

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