Maryborough’s Highview College faces turmoil as staff resign and students leave in the wake of acrimonious disputes between the board, teachers and parents, in the face of what promises to be a tumultuous annual general meeting on May 23.
The Courier has spoken to over a dozen anxious and angry teachers, former teachers and parents have expressed their frustration at what they describe as a ‘bloc’ that has been formed.
They allege nominations for the school’s board have been dismissed arbitrarily and those people who nominated for the board have been rejected on grounds never made clear to them; that proxy votes at the upcoming AGM have been disallowed without constitutional basis; that a proposed new constitution, rejected at a special meeting recently, will be reintroduced without debate; and that a board position is currently being occupied illegitimately.
Other concerns about the administration of discipline to students and alleged bullying of teachers were also expressed to The Courier.
A former board member who asked not to be identified said that out of 15 current applications for the school’s board due to be considered at the May 23 AGM, only four nominations were accepted. Those four were supporters of the bloc, the former member said.
Up to 25 staff have resigned from the school in the past three years. Over 100 students are also thought to have left the college.
Melinda Cameron was a teacher at Highview College from 2010 until 2016. Her nomination for a position on the Highview Board was one of those rejected.
“They’ve rejected every nomination, and then said, ‘We don’t need nominations; there’s enough of us to run it without anyone else’. For some members of the board to try to cherrypick members for their side, fail, and so reject everybody because they couldn’t get a change through about the constitution is outrageous, “ says Ms Cameron. Highview College board has been contacted for a response.