I am going to talk about a matter that I posted on Neighbourly some years ago but this time I will hold back on referring to the skin colour of the people involved.
Earlier today I went to the local liqour outlet for a bottle of wine.
Whilst there a ute turned up and parked at a funny angle in the Disabled Parking area.
Another member of the public was angry at this and accosted the people who had popped into the local liqour for booze.
What the offending people did was pure ignorance and nastiness. They started yelling that we were racist and wouldn't pick on anyone of a different skin colour.
I had gone to the defense of the member of the public and said to the people "Actually he is right and you are wrong. You should not park in the disabled parking area". I spoke quietly and calmly.
They turned on me and the woman became all aggresive. I ended up shaking and I said that I am in my late 50s and could have needed that parking area due to a disability. They did not have a disabled parking sticker and their behaviour showed to me how lazy they were when it came to respecting others eg the disabled.
They carried on yelling the F word frequently to the point where I thought the F word is probably the ONLY word they can speak because they think it sounds all smart and intelligent.
I cannot stand hearing anyone use the F Word because it shows a low intelligence and a lack of proper vocabulary.
Fortunately when it looked like the aggressive woman who claimed we were being racist seemed to be looking like she would attack me one of the local homeless guys came along and told the people to "F off". He has known me a long time as I am always friendly towards him and give him food and sometimes money.
I told him that all that, what happened, had me shaking all over.
Out of all this there is one thing that really angers me and it's the incredible laziness of so many able-bodied people that park in the disabled parking areas. But when a person or persons react aggressively because they are in the wrong by abusing and calling others racist then that really does bother me.
I just remembered one more 'gesture' the woman who became very aggressive did and that was she went up to the guy complaining and presented a finger that one can assume is the Up Yours gesture.
And so all that i.e the frequency of the F word(please be aware I do use that word myself but it's 99% directed at the traffic congestion of Auckland)and her hand gestures shows to me the lack of intelligence of the offender and her colleagues(all of whom were also behaving irrationally aggressively perhaps because they knew they were in the wrong but wanted to be right).
A disabled person must be able to park in a disabled parking area with the relevant sticker appearing on the windscreen area. Not have to contend with lazy able bodied people who think they are more worthy of the spot than a disabled person.
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Ministry of Education data provided voluntarily by 2184 schools for Term 2 last year showed one in five children missed the last day of term and the lowest attendance was on Fridays and Mondays. Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin says it's not a good look and improvement must be made. "That Friday, that child might miss the connecting piece to the next piece of learning which puts them behind their peers - it's important," she told. "Every day that school is open, children should be at school - it's the message we send to children about how important their education is." Greenmeadows Intermediate School principal Cathy Chalmers says regular attendance has been declining at her Manurewa school for the last five years. Students can only miss four days of school a term to maintain regular attendance. "It's becoming more common for parents to take advantage of cheaper airfares to take holidays during term time," Ms Chalmers says. "If it's a long weekend we have a much higher number of students away on the Friday of the long weekend as parents take advantage to get away early."
Ms Chalmers says students who don't attend school regularly don't have the opportunity to have consistency in their learning, which is needed to maintain achievement levels. The data showed 58 per cent of students attended school regularly, compared to 64 per cent in 2018, and 70 per cent in 2015. "Three-quarters of justified absence cases were reportedly due to illness. Just over half of unjustified absence cases were recorded truancies or unable to be explained," a data summary from the Ministry of Education states. "Although regular attendance has declined across all demographics since 2015, the largest declines have been seen across year levels 1-8 and among Māori and Pacific students." All schools will be asked to record attendance data for the whole year to build a better understanding of the issue. In the meantime, the Government has announced a pilot programme for Kawerau and South Auckland, which sees groups of schools have control over how to deal with truancy in their areas, including the ability to hire local attendance officers. The decision to change from district attendance officers to contracted providers was made under the previous Government in 2013. Ms Chalmers says having the contracted organisation not based in the community was an issue, so she supports the new pilot structure.
"It just makes that direct link between schools and the families. It will help build relationships with those families," she says. "Schools will have ownership over the delivery of the attendance service, which perhaps currently we don't have as much as what we'd like to have." The pilot has started in Kawerau and will start in April in South Auckland, running through until December 2021. "This will allow time to collect good information. A full evaluation will be undertaken during 2021.