Principal in uniform row hits back at critics

Maree Herrett (Santa Sabina College)

The principal of a Sydney Catholic girls’ school engulfed by a gender fluidity uproar has accused critics of using “cowardly, intellectually vacuous and bullying” tactics against her. Source: The Daily Telegraph.

Santa Sabina head Maree Herrett returned to the Strathfield school this week after taking leave as the college was thrown into turmoil over the gender identity row and parent complaints that former religious co-ordinator Helen Smith promoted Islam to students.

In a note to staff and the college board, Dr Herrett – who has not responded publicly to the allegations – said she had been “lying low” but had nothing to apologise for.

Dr Herrett has been battling a parent-led campaign to oust her as principal since she linked the concept of gender fluidity with the introduction of pants and shorts into the school uniform.

The crisis deepened with revelations parents and former students had complained about an “obsession with Islam” in religion classes, and a threat to pull as many as 200 girls out of the school.

In her note, Dr Herrett thanked colleagues and the school board for their "incredible support over this very difficult time".

“We will not bow to these cowardly, intellectually vacuous, and bullying tactics," Dr Herrett wrote.

“We have nothing to apologise for, except perhaps extending our support for students beyond what is sometimes reasonable.

“Our families are galvanised in support of our mission and direction.”

Current and former staff members told The Daily Telegraph Santa Sabina had been plagued with internal issues.

One former teacher said she had noticed a high staff turnover since Dr Herrett became principal.

In a statement, Santa Sabina chairman Tony Woods said Dr Herrett had the “full support of the college board”.


Catholic girls’ school head in gender identity row hits back at ‘cowardly’ and ‘bullying’ tactics (The Daily Telegraph)


'Campaign of misinformation': Parents back Santa Sabina principal (Sydney Morning Herald)

Power move: Why this Sydney private school is suiting up its girls Sydney Morning Herald)

Uniform overhaul at Santa Sabina gives students choices (The Daily Telegraph)

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