Note: The following article has been censored in order to avoid identifying individuals. The article was originally removed after receiving a request from the Human Rights Commission. We are now removing names to protect the privacy of individuals. Other than this the letter is published as provided. It obviously represents a single point of view. We do not present this as fact.
I’m an Auckland secondary school teacher who has had to endure the very worst treatment by both XXXX and XXXX.
In February 2010, I enquired at our staff briefing if non-Christians had to attend the Powhiri? The response from XXXX was that attendance was compulsory and further more, that I’d upset several Maori on the staff. One Maori staff member verbally abused me in front of the whole staff. I asked XXXX to intervene, but she felt that I deserved what had eventuated.
So I took the matter to the Human Rights Commission who attempted to mediate. The mediator, XXXX, was however either very poorly informed or deliberately allowed the school to assume that they were professional in their dealings with me. I was informed that I would have to prove that it was detrimental for me to attend religious activities. I enquired as to what it would involve and was told that I have to have myself psychologically tested by a registered clinical psychologist. The normal cost is usually around $3,000. I underwent the test (but received a cheaper deal from the clinical psychologist because he was appalled by the decision). When XXXX was given the medical report, he simply rejected it.
I resigned under duress several months later. When I spoke to the PPTA, they informed me that under what they refer to as ‘Kawa’, schools are not allowed to be so religious. This was also later confirmed by the Chief Legal Counsel of the Human Rights Commission.
It seems therefore that no one really knows what is actually factual and the rules appear to be camouflaged to protect those with an invested interest to uphold the Christian faith in our state school system.
I have a lot more to discuss with you. Could I please be invited to your next meeting?
Chris Roy MA Hons