Rogue principal who ignored Covid rules to encourage parents to send their kids to school during lockdown for their ‘mental health’ now facing an outbreak of at least 30 kids and teachers
- Principal Timothy Berryman repeatedly invited children to attend school
- He did so despite Victorian schools being closed due to a Covid lockdown
- The Fitzroy Community School in Fitzroy North, Melbourne has a Covid outbreak
- At least 30 students and staff have tested positive, Victorian Health reported
A school where the principal encouraged students to attend school during lockdown for their mental health is now facing an outbreak numbering at least 30 students and staff.
The Fitzroy Community School in Fitzroy North, Melbourne was identified yesterday by Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer Dan O’Brien after at least 30 students and staff tested positive.
‘It looks like the case numbers are at least 30 but it’s growing from there,’ Mr O’Brien said.
The independent, ‘alternative’ primary school had posted links to numerous articles on its website about the dangers of lockdowns to the mental health of children and the minimal risk of Covid-19 to children,
The Age reported an email it obtained from the principal, Timothy Berryman, sent to parents in early June that encouraged parents to send their children to the school as Victoria remained in lockdown.
‘I cannot in good conscience continue to request that you continue to keep your children at home,’ the email read.
‘Please feel free to send your child to school if you feel that this is best for them or best for your family balance. I do not write this lightly, as this does breach government imposed directives for schools.’
Mr Berryman was later warned that his encouragement to parents was in breach of health directive at the time but in late July, he continued to suggest they send their children to the school.
‘I am again offering you all the option of sending your children to school,’ he wrote.
A local who lives near the school said the school, as part of the local community, had an obligation to follow health rules ‘for themselves and all those around them.’
‘Did the school follow DHHS directives for remote learning? Did they have adequate Covid protocols for staff and students? Were symptomatic staff or students present at the school during the last week, and how was this addressed?’ asked the community member.
Victoria recorded 392 new coronavirus infections on Sunday.
Premier Dan Andrews has yet to set a date when Victorian students might return to school.
The decision is dependent on Burnet Institute modelling, with scenarios drafted by the Victorian Department of Education awaiting Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s approval based on the modelling.