From the Principal

The Right to Discriminate?

Anything to do with schools makes good copy!

Our community is most likely aware of a particular letter signed by a number of my Sydney Anglican colleagues, and the media storm it has generated.

Anglican schools’ exclusion letter is at odds with the values we were taught in class –  Matilda Dixon-Smith, 5 Nov 2018, ABC News

Matilda Dixon-Smith, as a 14 year old SCEGGS student

 “This past week has been one of the first times in a decade I’ve overtly considered the Anglican values I learnt at school.”

The anger, disappointment and outrage that this letter has caused among some alumni of their schools and the community in general has been widely reported.

I know many of these educators personally and can attest to their character and their concern at the the hurt the interpretation of purpose of this letter has caused.

“I am sad and dismayed by the grief and anger that has been prompted by my willingness to support the letter from Sydney Anglican Schools. It is clear the letter has been perceived as a message of discrimination and cruelty. Such a message was never intended, and I am truly distressed to see this impact.” Phillip Heath, Head of Barker College

I have also been asked, in various formal and informal meetings, our school’s attitude to this matter.

I can do no better in giving an answer than to refer to a statement made by our Bishop:

“Having consulted with the Heads of our five Anglican Schools in Grafton Diocese I can state that our schools welcome children and staff of any gender or sexual orientation. We affirm the infinite worth and human dignity of every person, having been created in God’s image and likeness.  This consistent with our diocesan values and also is in accordance with the Anglican Diocese of Grafton Schools Ethos statement which states in part that we affirm the dignity and worth of all people, aspiring to be inclusive, open and responsive to diverse needs and abilities and that we foster compassionate and respectful relationships within a safe, disciplined, caring Christian learning community. In these and in other ways our Anglican schools provide an environment that nurtures the whole person as a sound foundation for life.” Bishop Murray Harvey,Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton

The Right Reverend Dr Murray Harvey, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton

I personally and professionally thank Bishop Harvey for his clear and thoughtful response on behalf of the schools of our Diocese. (Note: The full statement is available on our School website).

Now let’s get back to educating our students!

Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School
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