Why the Obsession with Secrecy at LPHS – What’s being Hidden?

Why are so many teachers disappearing in the night at Logan Park High School. Roger Tobin (Deputy Principal) even insists that staff being bullied by him or other management not discuss their situation with their colleagues, partners or family. He has been supported in this by the person he refers to as his good friend Richard Good the local PPTA Field Officer. Richard Good has most certainly appears to have been associated with some questionable correspondence to the Ministry of Education and enquiries regarding this to the PPTA have gone unanswered for months.

 This is curious because if you are being attacked you are entitled to defend yourself if you don’t discuss the issues how would you know if anyone else was experiencing the same treatment he is certainly restricted in who he can discuss information with by the privacy act, but the victims are free to discuss their situation with anyone. How would your colleagues be able to assist you or help if the only story they were allowed to hear was the bully version. Secrecy only works to protect the interests of the bullies and to allow them to continue the abuse on the next generation of victims.  It’s interesting that in New Zealand education sector no one seems to have a clear policy on the bullying of teachers. You would expect the PPTA would fight to ensure that judgements and precedents would be in place for OSH to enforce. But they can’t even minute meetings or keep the flow of correspondence up to date. And the only solution they seem to offer victims at LPHS is help with negotiating an exit package (the only offer the victims I have spoken to were offered) is this what you pay your union fees for.  Maybe its time some of the deadwood at the PPTA was offered an exit package they are certainly not offering the type of job security and support one would expect from a professional union.  Given the difficulties members would have finding new employment without a reference from their past employer. I would give the PPTA a solid fail in this regard.

But back to the secrecy. Why does the Board of Trustees at LPHS need this why do the management staff need an indemnity including themselves if everything is above the radar.  I would suggest that any new board coming into governorship make it a priority to examine the past. To free the teachers who have been bullied from their positions from this onerous contractual clause and get to the truth, taking the action required to free the school from the suppressive culture that infests the special character the school clearly use to have.  It would be fantastic to have to rewrite this blog to a positive conclusion for all and see the BOT finally act in the interests of the school

5 Responses to “Why the Obsession with Secrecy at LPHS – What’s being Hidden?”

  1. Having recently been disappointed by PPTA, particularly Richard Good in negotiating my own work place issues I agree that a good part of the problem with teachers’ workplace at the moment is the PPTA. When I sought outside legal advice it was incredibly different to the advice given by this field rep and as for Bullying I thhk he contributed to it! His answer for everything was to negotiate an exit package despite my constant requests for him to do otherwise. He was clearly on the side of the Principal and I have good reason to suspect he was reporting back to him. This is not what I paid union fees for. I expected someone to go into bat for me and all I got was a bat in my face. Bullying of teachers this way is a serious issue and PPTA are contributing to it!


    • I totally Agree with your comment and have seen a lot of evidence to support your conclusion


    • This is a response well after your posting first appeared, but after my experience, I feel I must respond in order to show some solidarity. I used to work for a principal who was all charm and smiles in public but a really nasty bully behind closed doors. Every time I went to express my concerns about anything that was happening within the school, she used to deliberately begin talking over the top of me, and keep repeating that I was the problem – over and over and over and over again. She did all manner of appalling things that had the staff running scared. The principal deliberately put down on my personal file that I was ‘unprofessional’ for physically removing myself from her bullying. Just about every staff member had stories to tell about this principal’s abusiveness, but no-one spoke up expect me, which made me look like someone who simply had an unfounded grudge. Being who I am, that did not deter me, and I approached the NZEI, but unfortunately they indicated that they would join in with the School Board if they chose to write a disciplinary letter for my daring to ‘criticise’ the principal. Incredible, isn’t it, that the anti-bullying policy that schools are required to have suddenly don’t apply to teachers. To absolutely everyone else, but not teachers? I am no longer a member of the union, because, like Mack, this is not what I was paying union fees for. I have begun my own private lawyer fund for personal use. To use Mack’s apposite words – I expected someone to go into bat for me and all I got instead was a bat in my face.

      Check out http://www.bullyingonline.org to see that teacher unions all over the English-speaking world are the number one union type that betray their members when it comes to bullying, leaving innocent teachers to suffer. I agree: unions are a ‘good part of the (bullying) problem within teachers’ workplaces’.


  2. Roger Tobin is the new PPTA field rep, replacing Richard Good. Have you contacted PPTA head office about him, as it seems really off that they would appoint someone who had had bullying complaints made against him.


    • Yes this truly amazes me but goes to show that the close relationship between the PPTA and the management at Logan Park High School was not a figment of our Imagination. I suspect this could be the death Knell for the PPTA down here as teachers could hardly expect Honest or Ethical treatment with Tobin involved.


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