Dixon silent on bullying of school principal

In an outrageous abuse of parliamentary process, Liberal Member for Western Metropolitan Region Bernie Finn has called for the Minister for Education to sack a highly regarded principal, Shadow Minister for Education James Merlino said today.

Last night in Parliament Mr Finn shamelessly hid behind Parliamentary Privilege to call for the Minister to sack the Western Autistic School principal, Val Gill.

Under questioning from the Opposition in Parliament today, the Minister Martin Dixon was asked whether he would be asking Mr Finn to apologise to Ms Gill, and put an end to the bullying of a highly regarded principal.

Mr Dixon refused to answer the question and instead talked about the diversity of views about educating children with autism.

“Mr Dixon twice refused to condemn or even acknowledge this cowardly attack by Mr Finn, and we can only conclude that he condones this behaviour,” Mr Merlino said.

“If the Education Minister had any guts, he’d pull Mr Finn into line and make him apologise.

“The question that needs to be asked is whether it’s now open slather under this Government to attack principals and educators across the state who don’t toe the government line.

“This is utter hypocrisy from a Minister who has today been promoting a new state government campaign to stop bullying.”

This most recent attack follows revelations last year that Mr Dixon was trying to gag Ms Gill and her staff from talking publicly about their students’ needs, funding for school upgrades and redevelopments.

“No school community waiting for expansion, upgrade or redevelopment should take
gag threats lying down and the Opposition encourages them to speak out,” Mr
Merlino said.