Thousands back suspended principal on Facebook

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Marlene Campbell
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Suspended Salford School principal Marlene Campbell.

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Thousands of people have taken to Facebook to support suspended Southland principal Marlene Campbell.

The Salford School principal was suspended in November after months of turmoil at the school.

But a page labelled "Marlene Campbell is a great principal and a great asset to Salford School" has gained almost 9000 likes.

The father of three behind the page, Benjamin Rattray, said he was overwhelmed by the response.

It began with just a few-hundred likes but then gained a huge response, he said. The Facebook page was just one of the ways he planned to campaign to get Ms Campbell reinstated as principal at the school.

Ms Campbell had provided a lot of support to his family during difficult times, even providing food for school lunches, he said.

Ms Campbell posted on the page in November, thanking people for their support.

"It has been a long 23 days, we have been humbled by the support! Letters, cards, flowers, visits . . . and so the support continues. Much appreciated!"

The Ministry of Education would not comment on the page, referring The Southland Times to the school's commissioner Nicola Hornsey.

She said: "As all your inquiries relate to employment matters, it is not appropriate for me to make any comment".

Meanwhile, acting principal of the school Craig Tucker's position as deputy principal has been advertised. Mr Tucker did not respond to numerous phone calls and emails.

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