5 December 2005
Peachey apology not enough
National MP Allan Peachey’s apology to Selwyn College over an emailed threat to its school principal doesn’t go far enough, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.
She said the threat raised questions about his suitability as a National Party education spokesman, and also about the leadership of Don Brash in failing to take any action against Mr Peachey.
“The attack on principal Carol White was unprovoked, malicious, unethical and inexcusable,” she said.
“It is unacceptable for a politician to threaten a public servant. It is also representative of the kind of bullying behaviour that educators are striving to eliminate in our schools.
“To describe his email threat as a mistake trivialises behaviour that would merit strong disciplinary action in any school in the country.
“Students are routinely suspended and excluded for threatening other students and teachers in that way. How is it that Mr Peachey escapes any form of reprimand?”
Te Whaiti said Mr Peachey appeared to be driven by a personal vendetta and ideological differences with the school’s management.
“This community-centred school is well known for its ability to integrate and educate students from a diverse range of backgrounds, for a groundbreaking refugee education programme, a collaborative style of school management and a very successful adult education programme.
“Selwyn College not only caters to the local community that Mr Peachey represents, but also is an example of a school that has adjusted to the increased diversity of New Zealand society.
Te Whaiti said Peachey had badly misjudged his role as a member of parliament and a servant of the people and in doing so had badly damaged his political credibility.
“People will be seriously questioning whether Mr Peachey is an appropriate role model to lead our schools.”