ELITE TRINITY COUNCIL RIPPED APART
TURMOIL hit elite Trinity Grammar yesterday as the school council was ripped apart over its decision to sack the deputy principal for cutting a student’s hair.
Three members of the school council resigned — including its chair — less than 24 hours after an explosive school community meeting of 1500 people voted unanimously to oust them.
It follows a week of student protests and parent meetings after the council removed 30-year veteran Rohan Brown for trimming a boy’s hair on school photo day.
School council chairman Rod Lyle, deputy chair David Waldren and John Grover all resigned while member Robert Utter was promoted to school council chair.
Trinity also reaffirmed its commitment to principal Michael Davies, despite a school community motion being passed to remove him — just 28 people of 1500 wanted him to stay.
TRINITY Grammar is in crisis as the school council crumbled yesterday amid mounting pressure over its decision to sack a beloved deputy principal over a haircut.
Three school council members resigned with a current member promoted to chair, despite 1500 people from the school community voting unanimously to boot them out.
Old Trinity Grammarian Association president David Baumgartner said the appointment of Robert Utter to chair the council was “utterly unacceptable”. “He is the grandfather of this toxic culture of detachment and misleading representation,” he said.
It’s understood six of the original nine school council members who sacked deputy principal Rohan Brown for cutting a pupil’s hair on school photo day remain.
It follows a week of chaos, including student protests and heated community meetings, after the council’s decision to remove the 30-year veteran.
School council chairman Rod Lyle, deputy chair David Waldren and John Grover all resigned yesterday.
It came a day after a special meeting where the school community passed a motion of no confidence in the council and principal Michael Davies.
The school has remained steadfast in its support for Dr Davies, endorsing him despite only 28 people out of 1500 wishing for him to remain.
A statement issued by Trinity Grammar yesterday afternoon said Dr Davies had no part in the decision to remove Mr Brown.
“I want to assure the Trinity community that I am resolute in my focus to lead this school,” Dr Davies said in the statement. “I will not waiver in my determination to enable an environment where all students can thrive.
“While much has been said over the past days, my focus, and that of the wider Trinity team, is to provide our boys with the very best of holistic education and development opportunities.
“I am excited to be working with Robert Utter, a highly respected and regarded member of our community. I also thank the council for their ongoing support.”
The Trinity Grammar statement outlined the “strong performance” of Dr Davies and the school, saying it had become “one of the highest performing schools in Victoria” under Dr Davies.
A statement by Mr Lyle and Mr Waldren said it had “become apparent that our values are not shared by sections of the wider school community”.
“We maintain that we and the council acted with integrity and in the best interests of the school — its staff, parents and, above all, its students — in taking action over the recent behaviour of the school’s former deputy headmaster, Mr Rohan Brown.
“This behaviour was, in the unanimous view of the council, unacceptable and incompatible with the values of Trinity Grammar and with contemporary community standards.”
They said they were confident they would be “vindicated in the action we took”.
The Victorian Institute of Teaching confirmed it is was investigating Mr Brown over claims of serious misconduct.
No complaints have been made, however the VIT was prompted to investigate after receiving notice from Trinity Grammar of its action against Mr Brown on Friday.
The boy at the centre of the drama has campaigned for Mr Brown’s return, leading chants at student protests on Tuesday.
Trinity Grammar students at Tuesday’s protest. ROD LYLE CHAIRMAN DAVID WALDREN DEPUTYCHAIRMAN JOHNGROVER COUNCILMEMBER