Former Trinity leaders condemn school for lack of concern for 'haircut' student and deputy principal sacking
Former captains and vice captains of Trinity Grammar School have condemned the sacking of the school's deputy principal and accused the school of an "apparent lack of concern" for the student whose hair he cut.
Rohan Brown was dismissed last week after more than 30 years' service at the school for cutting a student's hair before school photos.
The school's own alumni association is demanding the principal and school council stand down after the incident.
Opposition education spokesman and Member for Kew Tim Smith has also weighed in, telling radio station 3AW Mr Brown had been "hung, drawn and quartered on the altar of political correctness".
Fifty former student representatives added their voices to the growing anger on Monday, in an open letter to school council chairman Roderick Lyle and principal Michael Davies.
In the letter, the students voiced their "profound disappointment" over the dismissal of Mr Brown and their concern at the change in culture and direction of the school in recent years.
They said Mr Brown had "stood in the face" of an ATAR-focussed change of vision, adopted by Mr Davies and the school council in recent years.
"His defining characteristics embody the school’s traditional core values," they said.
"He can be firm, but he is not a bully. He wants boys to be their best," they said.
The students also said they were "deeply troubled by the apparent lack of concern" shown by the school council for the welfare of the student involved.
"It would have been abundantly clear to the council that its favoured process - namely a blunt, public and undignified dismissal [of Mr Brown] - would have immediate and devastating consequences for this poor young man," the letter said.
"It is unacceptable that he should now find himself at the centre of a heated political issue that in all reality has nothing to do with him.
"He does not deserve it, and the responsibility for his predicament lies squarely at the school council’s feet."
An independent review into the sacking was announced at a fiery meeting attended by hundreds of parents on Friday night but the former student leaders said the review was unnecessary and it was unclear how impartiality would be guaranteed.
The students said they no longer had confidence in the school's executive leadership.
"In our view, it has shown that it is neither willing nor able to conduct itself in accordance with the school's core values and that it is grossly out of step with the wider school community," the letter said.
Current students plan to rally at the gates of the college on Tuesday morning and some expect to boycott classes.
The Old Trinity Grammarians' Association will also meet on Tuesday to discuss a motion to overthrow the school council and principal Michael Davies.
Mr Davies has been contacted for comment. School council chairman Roderick Lyle has also been contacted for comment.