This week I was lucky enough to attend the Tuturu Summit in Wellington with Tony Sears. I was surprised it went ahead with the current world events, but happy that it did. I come home feeling quietly confident that we are on the right track at Waiheke High School. Tuturu is a tool that has been developed to help schools cope with drugs and alcohol in our communities; it deals with the well being of the student and gives them strategies that will enable them to be safe in a world that also includes drugs and alcohol.
Waiheke High School has been involved with Tuturu for a couple of years now. We are blessed with a fantastic team who deliver the programme in our school in our health dept along with the counsellors and the nurse. Tuturu recognises that there is no one plan fits all, and they help schools to tailor it to their individual needs.
We occasionally read on social media pages about mischief and sometimes criminal activities that happen in our community including drug use. This does not happen often but when it does inevitably parents get blamed, why doesn’t school do something, and negative comments about the kids themselves, this is the general theme of the posts. One of the roles of the board is to see these young people when they muck up at school and are suspended to the board. I would say that in probably 99% of the time the whanau of the student are looking for help with the behaviour of their children, they just want them to succeed at school and go on to be good productive citizens of our Island.
If you are still reading, consider this a holiday from Covid-19 and read on! The world’s clever people will eventually vanquish Covid-19 but we will always have youth who make mistakes. They say “It takes an Island to raise a child”. These kids belong here on the Island and they belong in school. This programme is helping us to develop the tools to keep them in school and at the same time ensure school is a safe and dynamic place for all students to learn and grow. Our students are awesome. Every time I attend a school event, be it Matariki celebrations, sports events, prize giving or other school events, I see the pride they have in their achievements and the aroha they have for each other. I see the kids who have had a second chance, and sometimes a third or fourth chance amongst their peers and I have no regrets in trying again for them.
Stay safe, be kind and look out for each other.