June 28, 2022
Papakura High School roiled by sacking
A parent of pupils at Papakura High School says the school community wants answers to the turmoil that has engulfed the Māori unit in the heavily-Māori school.
Raniera Lee-Watene told Radio Waatea talkback host Matthew Tukaki the raruraru has been bubbling under for about 12 weeks since the school ended the employment of a teacher at Rūmaki Reo.
Three colleagues resigned in solidarity with a colleague who was let go, and students launched petitions calling for the teachers to be reinstated.
There have also been allegations of bullying and racism by school management and its board of trustees.
Mr Lee-Watene says the principal and the board won’t talk to whānau, citing legal reasons.
Rūmaki Reo whānau believe the school is breaching the Education Act and the Treaty of Waitangi.
“To be honest it’s an unsafe environment for our tamariki. It’s the future of our tamariki we’re really concerned about, and our kaiako. Our kaiako are amazing kaiako, they’re young, they’re full of life, they’re vibrant and they’re unapologetic about being Maori. At the moment they’re unprotected and their registrations are at threat,” he says.
In a statement, Associate Education Minister Maori Kelvin Davis says employment matters are the responsibility of the board of trustees and being managed accordingly.
The principal and the board are being advised by Māori leaders from Papakura Marae and the Ministry is in regular contact with the school to provide support and guidance as needed.