Principal Ian McKinnon accepts bullying as normal, a joke

[TW for bullying and abuse apologism by authority figures]

Ian McKinnon, principal of Pukekohe High School, has a bit of an integrity problem.*

See, several of his students attacked another of his students, possibly in a sexual manner.

And Ian McKinnon seems to think that there’s a magical line between assault-which-is-just-boys-being-boys and assault-which-is-actually-something-he-actually-has-to-give-a-fuck-about.

“The incident involved a male student who was held by others and who was then assaulted.

“Whilst what took place may well have started out as a joke among a group who knew each other, its outcome was far from that. It was very upsetting for the victim and for a number of students in the area, many of them friends of the victim.”**

Here’s your problem, Ian: you think just ganging up on a guy and pinning him to the ground for the purpose of giving him shit for transferring schools is just a joke amongst a group who knew each other***.

Presumably once possible sexual assault with a weapon is involved, it’s “gone too far”.

And here’s the thing: Ian McKinnon thinks he’s showing no tolerance for this shit.  I mean, the boys involved have been excluded, parents have been informed, what else has a guy got to do?

“Nobody condones this sort of behaviour or any type of physical assaults and it’s hugely upsetting when people have to witness it, and they were upset about it.

“Kids just don’t know when to stop with some of their behaviours.”

Oh, that’s right.  We could take one fucking minute to wonder why some kids “just don’t know when to stop”.  Or, hang on, we could look at the fact that their principal is explicitly saying that the beginning of this assault was just a joke, that the problem was that things like cornering another kid behind the gym and pinning him to the ground went too far.

And then we could pinpoint pretty clearly that the problem is that Ian McKinnon, right there, shows he condone bullying and violence against other students.  Until the police get involved, and then it’s totes bad, mmkay.


*The Granny Herald also has an integrity problem for giving that article a headline analogous to “Bluebeard’s wife killed for being a nosy bitch”
**Bonus dickpoints for focusing on how upsetting it is for the witnesses, not the victim, Ian.
***Of course they fucking know each other, Ian, they go to school together.


  1. Mr Wainscotting

    When I was bullied at school, the house master’s response was to tell me to not be such a target, and then threaten to revoke my telephone privileges if I complained to my parents. I have no time for dickbags in authority.

  2. Craig Ranapia

    McKinnon was all over the media saying PHS doesn’t tolerate assault of students etc…. then goes on to say, over and over, it was just “a joke” that “went too far”. I don’t want to trauma-trigger anyone but, FFS… even quote unquote joking about doing what was reported should be totally, utterly and unconditionally unacceptable. I’m damn certain if a teacher was treated like that the PPTA wouldn’t be quite so *cough* euphemistic.

    • QoT

      A bunch of kids so much as standing in the doorway to a classroom saying “gee, sir, we think it’s shitty you’re moving schools, you wanker”, much less while armed with auto parts, would be screamed from the headlines as proof of Youths’ Lack Of Respect For Their Elders, Kids Out Of Control!!!!! before you could blink.

      • Craig Ranapia

        Yup. And McKinnon really need to think hard about what a bully culture is and how it works – it’s not just the abuse itself, but the complex and tight web of enabling that surrounds it. In this case, it’s also disturbingly close to the same bullshit you face trying to break down rape culture. “Of course it’s terribly, but…” – and out comes the euphemisms and qualifications and mitigating factors that make the offence, you know, lower down a sliding scale that just shouldn’t exist. Ugh. You don’t have to be a bully, or a rapist or beat on women or children to be complicit in a toxic abuse culture. And we should all expect a lot more of people like McKinnon who can – and should – know better.

  3. Anonymous

    The principal of this school is a joke. I know, because I went to this school and left years ago because of the bullying I got which nobody did anything about. He did absolutely nothing, there were fights all the time. Sometimes they started right after a class ended and people recorded it standing around. I saw an ambulance come a couple times and I heard a guy was bashed on the concrete outside with blood. (not sure if this is true). It’s an awful school, so much violence and the teachers are a pathetic excuse, they stand around or just do nothing. They do absolutely nothing! I’m so glad I left when I did. The teachers became bullies themselves calling everyone useless and no good even using power to get what they wanted out of me. One pervert teacher was kicked out recently for being inappropriate. Eventually I was too scared to go back. I moved towns and t