The Daily Telegraph
March 4, 2017
POLICE officers yesterday said there were “concerns about radicalisation” at a southwest Sydney school where the principal was sacked earlier this week.
Chris Griffiths and his deputy Joumana Dennaoui were dismissed on Thursday from their roles at majority Muslim Punchbowl Boys High following an investigation by the NSW Department of Education.
It is understood multiple issues led to them being stood aside, including “disharmony” at the school and a decision last year to exclude female teachers from taking official roles in speech days.
Chris Griffiths “led students down dangerous path”, police say.
The department has said the pair will not be returning to the school.
Police in Bankstown said Mr Griffiths allegedly told students “if the pigs” stop you, film them with your mobile phone and refuse their directions.
Officers said relations with the school had broken down since Mr Griffiths, who one officer said converted to Islam in 2014, took over two years ago after prominent former principal Jihad Dib left to become an MP.
“Students were being told that if the ‘pigs’ stop you, to film them and refuse their directions,” one senior constable said.
“The students were being led down a dangerous path by the principal. We had concerns about radicalisation.”
A spokesman for the Education Department said an “extensive appraisal of the school’s policies, procedures and management” was conducted.
“The appraisal revealed a high level of staff disunity and disharmony, plus increased disengagement of the school from its local community,” he said.
“The former principal and deputy principal are still employed by the department but are currently on leave and will not return to the school.”
NSW Secondary Principals’ Council president Chris Presland described the removal of the leadership team as a “highly unusual action”.
Mr Dib, now Labor education spokesman, said he “condemned any form of exclusion”.
“If, as it appears, this is a case of exclusion in one of our public schools, then that is wrong. State schools are there for everyone regardless of their gender, colour, or religion.”