I would not normally comment on social media postings or press coverage of the College, but in this particular instance I will because the matter of recent expulsions has been made so public and reported so inaccurately. The matter brought before the Supreme Court by one parent, since dismissed, was based on the incorrect claim that her son was somehow singled out: that “he was the only boy among the nine to be denied entry to A Levels.” This is simply not true. None of the nine boys were invited back. Fact. It is irrelevant how good a boy may be in sport or any other pursuit if his behaviour is unacceptable by community standards.
The College never released any footage of the incident; that was released by one of the boys who filmed what began as a premeditated attack by boys on two innocents. It needs little comment from me as to why a boy would come prepared to film a fight. Boarders were not given favoured treatment as two of them were also expelled. The College did not politicise this matter as claimed; it has never released a statement to the media. Recent accusations against College management are disrespectful and, in some cases, utterly repulsive. Indeed, these claims have no basis in fact. Some wild accusations are being made by former, disgruntled staff who have attached themselves to one parent’s tirade.
The decision to expel these boys was not a unilateral decision and never would be; it was properly considered and documented by the Discipline Committee that made its recommendation. Schools agonize over such decisions. The decision was explained to parents by letter and in person, and several were given additional opportunities to express their points of view. Our decision had the legal approval of our school barrister. The Governor has shown his strong support for the College and its management.
My responsibility as Principal is to ensure that all boys feel safe and supported –and the integrity and repute of the College remains intact. Parents know that our College is performing superbly as evidenced by our best academic results for many years –please refer to the senior portal for details. Our university offers were exceptionally good. Parents’ gatherings have been supportive and happy. Our teachers are happy and enjoying a highly professional work environment. Our boys are fully engaged and deeply committed to their school. Aitchison is everything it should be.
While I can appreciate the emotion of those directly affected by this decision, no personal wound justifies the peddling of lies and the sullying of good people’s characters simply because one has access to media. This is my one and only comment.