Trinity Grammar deputy principal sacked over cutting student's hair
An ugly stoush has erupted at Trinity Grammar after its long-standing deputy principal was sacked for trimming a student's hair on school photo day.
In a letter to parents and former students, school council chairman Roderick Lyle said deputy principal Rohan Brown left Trinity on Thursday night over his handling of a disciplinary issue.
He said Mr Brown's actions were at odds with school policy and “inconsistent with community expectations in this day and age”.
“As a result, the school council was of the view that Mr Brown’s leadership position at the school was no longer tenable,” Mr Lyle said in the letter.
"We are all very disappointed and deeply saddened by the situation."
It is understood that Mr Brown, who is in charge of discipline, trimmed a student's unruly hair on school photo day.
An emotional Mr Brown, who worked at the Kew private school for almost 30 years, told The Age that he loved Trinity and was saddened by what had happened.
"I would like to go back," he said. "It’s a good school and this is tearing me apart. I can't comment further."
Many former students are shocked by the decision and some believe Mr Brown's sacking is political.
Tensions have been brewing since November, when Old Trinity Grammarians' Association president David Baumgartner sent a scathing letter to the council chair and headmaster, accusing the prestigious private school of becoming too preoccupied with high ATARS, fundraising and building projects.
Mr Baumgartner, who has served on the association for 34 years, wrote in the letter that there was a "resurgent undercurrent of frustration and anger" among the school community.
"There is too much inward focus on things like buildings, fundraising, marketing, ATAR excellence, Cambridge schooling program, etc," he wrote.
One former student said Mr Brown stood in the way of the headmaster Dr Michael Davies' vision for the school.
“Rohan represented the old school's values, caring for the community and the moulding of young gentleman,” he said.
“This was a school who produced well-rounded men who had an interest in the wider community not just their pay packets and status. The school is being destroyed.”
Former teachers who have contacted The Age said there had been an exodus of staff since Mr Davies took over the role of principal from Rick Tudor in 2014.
One teacher estimates that 152 teaching and support staff had left the school in the past four years.
Some Trinity staff members were given a generous payments to leave the school. They have signed confidential agreements which prevent them from disclosing the payment.
One former teacher expressed concern about the school spending so much money to get rid of perfectly good teachers.
Mr Lyle said in the letter to parents that Mr Brown had given tremendous service to the school and had made a very significant contribution.
He said an interim leadership structure had been put in place while the council searched for a new deputy headmaster.
Dr Davies' has been contacted for comment.