An upset mother is taking to the streets this afternoon to draw attention to bullying at Whangaparāoa College.
The organised picket is being held in reaction to an alleged culture of bullying that is affecting students at the north Auckland school.
The violent bullying was brought to the attention of media in September after a video of two Whangaparāoa College students fighting was viewed widely on social media.
The video showed two girls brawling at a playground in their college uniforms while others looked on.
The incident spurred on multiple reports from parents about an alleged culture of bullying at the school and within the wider Whangaparāoa community.
Whangaparāoa College principal James Thomas said this incident was a matter that was "awful".
"It was dealt with and there has been no other incidents. It is a very rare thing at Whangaparāoa College for there to be a fight," he said.
"This incident wasn't at the school but I took issue with it very strongly because it was two of our kids in school uniform."
Thomas said there is not a culture of bullying at Whangaparāoa College.
"I am not saying there is not bullying at Whangaparāoa. Whangaparāoa is part of a community as are all schools and all schools reflect their community.
"We have 1500 kids at our school so they come to school with all sorts of challenges and different head spaces, and our school, like all schools, does a great job at helping and moderating this.
"But like every other school in the country, we are not a perfect school," he said.
A mother of a student at the school told the Herald that despite concerns raised with the college, she believed violence and bullying was rife at the school and had been for years.
The concerned parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said her own son had been pushed to the brink of attempting suicide.
"Earlier this year my 14-year-old son attempted to commit suicide after being bullied for three years," she said.
"The bullying is so severe he had his arm broken, he's been stabbed and attacked multiple other times.
"It's both verbal and physical abuse. They call him names like 'gay' and he has been choked and kicked.
"I thought I was doing everything I could to try and stop it, but finding him like that has changed me.
"Now I understand how families feel when they lose their children and it's just not fair. Enough is enough."
The concerned parent said her son was one of a number of students who had undergone bullying at Whangaparāoa College at the hands of a group of teenagers who continually cause problems.
"It is not a one-off or a single case. The community is devastated by it but our concerns don't get heard and now it has reached crisis point," she said.
"All the same names keep coming up as being involved, but they all stay at the school so the behaviour continues and the principal just sweeps everything under the carpet."
In order to bring attention to the problem, and try invoke action, the woman organised a community gathering with the intention of a protest.
"We will smother the coast in pink balloons, signs and T-shirts to show we will not accept this violence," she said.
Thomas said he had not been contacted about the protest but encouraged parents to approach the school with any concerns.
"We have a very strong message about kindness is never wasted, about respect and looking after each other, but that is not to say there are not incidences that we really regret," he said.
"There are fights, very few, and occasions of bullying, but it is amazing what we can do when we know about something and when parents work with us to sort things out.
"Folk sometimes do get stood down or suspended for serious misbehaviour, but we also want to have a restorative approach and for it to be a learning opportunity so that folk learn from it and it doesn't happen again."
Thomas said students and parents needed to make contact when concerns arise so the school can meet, investigate, talk about strategies and resolve matters.
"It is amazing what we can resolve when we team up to resolve matters," he said.
"It is working with people that is very important. I would welcome the opportunity for anyone who is concerned to come and talk."