Lisa Sell


I attended the “Jade Speaks Up” training at Kaitangata Primary School in January 2020.
This primary school is one I am assigned to in the Clutha District as a Public Health Nurse and so I know the school and community well.
At the end of 2019 it became evident that the school was having to manage and help support children for increasingly complex situations around violence and the children feeling unsafe. They needed to know they could talk to people they trust that were not necessarily in the community but in the school setting, where they spend such a significant amount of time.
By teachers, teacher aides, principals, Oranga Tamariki, NGO’s and myself being able to complete this training of Jade Speaks Up, it meant that the students and teachers can have stronger, trusting relationships and the pupils feel more connected and grounded.
Children often need to learn the skills of resiliency outside of the home in a healthy environment to become confident with developing coping strategies and this can happen at school.
One of the strongest messages I gained from this workshop was that a child lacking a voice in a violent home will be powerless and become lost. They won’t reach their full potential and lack self-belief. Adults have many stressors in their lives, with different ways of reacting to these stressors. If the child becomes a victim of this they need to know that someone understands, and can find help and support for them.
Children will still be victims of violence, they will still disclose at school. The next layer is added if the school cannot listen and understand where the child is coming from. It is imperative that the teacher feels strong and able to help the child’s voice be heard by appropriate people and action taken.