Commissioner gives reassurance
The Government-appointed commissioner to Waiau Area School had his first meeting with the school community yesterday and has assured parents he will keep them informed.
Chris Shaw, who is also the board chairman at Fiordland College, was appointed by the Ministry of Education last week after the parent-elected members of the Tuatapere school's board resigned.
Board members said they resigned after receiving a list of "serious workplace issues" that caused them so much alarm they felt the issues were beyond the range of expectation for any board to deal with.
Principal Maryse Anderson-Kereti was currently on leave, and Dr Shaw said he understood she had resigned.
About 40 parents and community members attended yesterday's meeting at the school hall, where Dr Shaw explained his role and a possible timeframe.
When asked after the meeting if allegations teachers had bullied the principal were true, Dr Shaw said he had only just started his investigation and did not have all of the information yet.
After the meeting Dr Shaw told parents there were several rumours going around that were untrue. Parent Anne-Marie Erskine said it was good the process was under way.
"It is not a two-minute fix which we all hoped for, we are now realising it is going to take at least a year." She had no idea there were problems at the school, and said the students knew only what had been reported in The Southland Times. They were back to their studies and the only difference for them was the principal, she said.
Parents at the meeting seemed unsure about what had happened.
Dr Shaw said there was hurt and a lot of unease in the community at the way the problems had come out through the media.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.