Shepparton school teachers concerned about the Andrews Labor Government’s new super school have been warned not to criticise the school in public.
The minutes from a school meeting in May last year show teachers were told that when discussing the new school, they must praise it in public and keep any criticism behind closed doors.
The minutes state: ‘we must bring the community on board with this new school and sell its value. It’s still okay to criticise – but do so in the confines of your private conversations with other staff and look for solutions’.
Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the Andrews Labor Government and the Independent Member for Shepparton were arrogantly forcing the schooler merger on the community without proper consultation.
“The Andrews Government is doing everything it can to stifle debate and whitewash the community’s concerns,” Ms Ryan said.
“Parents, students and the community have so many questions – none of which the government will answer – and now we discover that teachers have been told that they can’t express any reservations in public.”
Ms Ryan said she had personally spoken with teachers who believed the merger was the wrong outcome for the community and who were concerned there was no funding to build the new school.
“Teachers feel bullied into the Andrews Government’s plan to create this superschool,” Ms Ryan said.
“The arrogance in telling teachers that they must talk up this plan when many of them don’t agree with it is breathtaking.
“Many are staying silent because they know staff numbers will be reduced at the new school and they are worried about losing their jobs.
“The Andrews Government must lift this gag order on teachers and guarantee that no one will lose their job for speaking their mind about this project.”