Parents lash out at Calare principal: 'some people just don't have a heart'

NO JOKE: Ray Shield, whose son attends Calare Public School, is heartbroken to hear principal Chris Cundy used derogatory language to refer to his students. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0828sgcalare3

NO JOKE: Ray Shield, whose son attends Calare Public School, is heartbroken to hear principal Chris Cundy used derogatory language to refer to his students. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0828sgcalare3

WHILE the principal of Calare Public School Chris Cundy says he's sorry for calling his students "morons" and "village idiots" in a staff newsletter, several parents with students at the school contacted the Central Western Daily calling for Mr Cundy's dismissal.

Ray Shield, whose special needs son attends Calare, said he felt "heartbroken" by Mr Cundy's comments.

"Everyone's got a right to be on this earth, some people just don't have a heart," he said.

Mr Shield's wife Katrina said Mr Cundy's comments were at odds with the school's anti-bullying program.

"This is not a joke, we're thinking seriously about pulling our children out of the school," she said.

"No competent or caring person would consider what was written as humorous in any way"

Michael Guise said he had planned to send his son, who has downs syndrome, to Calare but was having second thoughts.

"My older children have gone there but now we've got to reconsider it," he said.

"They say they want to stomp out bullies who are children, what about stomping out bullies who are teachers and principals?

"Without question he should be dismissed."

A reader, who has a child at Calare and asked not to be named, said Mr Cundy's comments were concerning as he's the "head of the school who is ultimately responsible for the welfare of the children and his staff". 

"No competent or caring person would consider what was written as humorous in any way," he said.

Chris Cundy's full apology to the school community

How the story developed on Thursday

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"The fact that the principal included this in a formal newsletter to staff calls into question his professional judgement and fitness to work with children or to lead a school community."

Another woman with a grandson at the school, who asked not to be named, said last week Mr Cundy reminded students their actions and words reflected the values of the school.

"The school is there for all of our children, not just the A-grade students or the athletic students, every kid has the right to receive the best education they can," she said.

"There's no point saying you're sorry now."

In Mr Cundy's letter, which was sent home on Thursday afternoon, he apologised "for any hurt or grief I have caused anybody in the school and wider Calare community".

"I have made a serious error of judgement," he said.

"My heart is with every student at Calare. It always has been and always will be.

"I wish to assure you that Calare Public is a caring school that looks after the needs of every student in a respectful way.

"I am sorry that I have blurred that image through my inappropriate written comments."

A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Communities said Mr Cundy had not been suspended, but had been formally counselled by the department.

"The Department stresses that the material is contrary to the values of public education and the school's track record of support for students with disabilities and other learning needs," the spokesperson said.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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