Trinity and ‘Brownie’ bury the hatchet
Trinity Grammar deputy headmaster Rohan “Brownie” Brown tried to speak to the media but tears kept getting in the way.
“You’d think someone fairly big and tall could do this well, wouldn’t you?” he said.
Students and parents rushed to shake the hand of Mr Brown as he officially marked his reinstatement to the school after being sacked by the school council for cutting a student’s hair.
Mr Brown and Trinity headmaster Michael Davies presented a united front yesterday outside the prestigious boys school as they both said they wanted to put the haircutting saga behind them.
“There is an apology I need to make to the school community for the disruption that was caused at the end of last term,” Mr Brown said through tears.
“But I am so pleased to be back ... we make mistakes and I’ve made one.”
Mr Brown thanked the school community for its support. A student strike and electronic billboards were some of the tactics used by students, parents and Old Boys to get Mr Brown’s job back.
“I’ve been here nearly 30 years, it’s a terrific school,” he said.
“There is a bit of me here. There’s a bit of the school in me.”
Mr Brown said he accepted the school’s apology for his dismissal. He was offered his position back after a review led by former judge Ray Finkelstein QC found the school council did not have the power to sack him.
The boy whose hair was cut has said he never wanted his teacher to be fired.
When asked whether he would hang up the scissors for good, Mr Brown said: “The obvious answer is yes.”
Mr Brown’s sacking saw nearly half of the school council resign and put pressure on Mr Davies to follow suit.
The Old Trinity Grammarians did not comment yesterday because of a deal announced last week with the school council where they promised not to speak to any more media.
The agreement mediated by former High Court judge Susan Crennan has also seen the Old Grammarians take down all their Facebook posts attacking the council and Mr Davies in exchange for closer consultation on a new school board.
Mr Davies avoided any discussion of his future yesterday. “You’d understand it was a trying time at the end of last term but we’re keen to put that behind us,” he said. “Personally, I look forward to working with Mr Brown and the rest of our colleagues to make sure the focus is on, and remains with, the education and wellbeing of our boys.”
Parents at the Trinity gates told The Australian they hoped yesterday’s joint appearance would be the end of the matter.
“The council underestimated just how much the boys loved Brownie,” one parent said.
Reinstated Trinity deputy headmaster Rohan Brown greets students returning from holidays and can’t resist an inspection of one student’s locks