Social Science Students Confront Major Social Issues
A visiting team from the Sensible Sentencing Trust had Year 13 Social Studies students fully engaged in discussion about the level of child abuse in New Zealand when they recently visited Macleans College.
Jess McVicar, Youth Advocate, and daughter of SST founder Garth McVicar told how one day she was in court and became furious when a father was being charged with threatening to kill the man who had murdered his daughter. ‘The justice system took no account of a grieving father’s state of mind’, she said, ‘it was all about the offender’.
Amber Lehndorf, SST child abuse spokesperson, talked about her brother who was sexually abused and battled this secret for twenty five years before he found the strength to report it.
Amber and Jess then role-played about how best to handle a situation when a friend confides details of sexual abuse.
Jock Jamieson, Macleans College staff member and SST Auckland chairman, invited students to ‘be a judge’ and come up with their judgements of a number of child abuse cases presented to them before revealing the actual sentence given. There were gasps of surprise at some of the verdicts. Some students picked up a social issue for further study as part of their Social Studies course.