In assembly on Friday I talked to the Year 7-13 girls about what has been happening in the last couple of days. I wanted them to understand two things. The first was that I was deeply disappointed at the poor decision-making and judgment shown in Rotorua and that there would be inevitably be consequences, but that these students are a part of our community, they have always had great records here, that they had made some really bad decisions, but that we wanted to support them to come to terms with their actions and that they were deserving our understanding and support.
The second was about the reach of social media. 95% of the girls put their hands up when I asked them if someone – a teacher, their Dean, Mum and Dad – had talked to them about the speed, reach and stickiness of social media. 100% put their hands up to say that they knew and understood that. This disparity between what they know or know they have been told and what they actually do in their daily lives is the area we have to keep targeting. The current situation is unpleasant for everyone; the best thing that can come out of it is that girls will think more deeply and carefully about their actions and the impact of social media.
I said to the girls that I am always so proud of them, of the wonderful way they represent their families and the College. It was, despite, the serious issues, a really positive assembly.