Letter: Michael Laws

21:13, Mar 06 2014

What could possibly have possessed Craighead Diocesan School to think that Michael Laws in any way, shape or form could be considered suitable to be working with young women?

If memory serves, Mr Laws' most notable interaction with school children was in September/ October 2009 while mayor of Whanganui when he was accused of ''bullying'' students who had written to him, in Maori, asking that he cease opposition to the Maori spelling of the city name.

He replied that they should focus on ''the real issues affecting Maoridom, especially child abuse and child murder''. If he thinks that's an appropriate response to children, I do not think he should be working at a school.

Has Craighead perhaps forgotten Mr Laws' comments about race and weight directed at governor-general Anand Satyanand in 2010? Has the school forgotten that Mr Laws in 2011 said of a young Christchurch man with Asperger's Syndrome, arrested for minor theft after the earthquakes, that he was ''bloody lucky that he received only a black eye''? Has the school forgotten that in 2006 he referred to the Tongan King as ''a bloated, brown slug''?

I am assuming that Craighead will have pupils of Tongan, Maori, and Indian descent, pupils with special needs and body issues, and open young minds in general. Perhaps the school needs to have another think about it.


Footnote: Craighead Diocesan School's board of proprietors chairwoman Phillipa Guerin replied: ''Thank you very much for the opportunity to reply to this letter.

''The board of proprietors at Craighead Diocesan School appointed a panel to recruit, interview and appoint a development manager whose sole responsibility is to raise funds for the development of the school.

''Development means buildings in this particular instance. A pool of applicants applied, were interviewed and an appointment made.''


The Timaru Herald