Private school’s ‘humiliating’ muck up day punishment
An eastern suburbs private school has doubled down on its decision to punish students by making them don gardening gloves and pick up rubbish at a local beach - despite a backlash from parents who say it is "humiliating".
Waverley College Year 12 students staged an impromptu muck up day by skipping class for Bronte Beach on Monday and engaged in behaviour which "did not meet the expectations" the school has of their students
The $15,000 a year school banned the group of about 30 boys from attending end of school festivities on Thursday afternoon including a farewell barbecue, instead telling them they must don "old clothes" and gardening gloves and pick up rubbish at the beach between 1pm and 3pm.
"Every action in life has a consequence. And part of our role is to give students every opportunity to be a young man that leaves people and places better for them having been there," Waverley College principal Graham Leddie said.
"Problems arise when we don't think about or recognise the possible consequences of our actions or we get away with our negative actions a few times without a consequence, which leads to a false sense of security.
"The actions of those students were not harmless - they disrespected themselves by being there instead of being in class, and their behaviour at the beach did not meet the expectations we have of our students."
In his response to questions by The Daily Telegraph he referenced the recent uproar over the prestigious Shore School's muck up day in which students planned to carry out tasks including spitting on homeless people as part of a scavenger hunt.
"We have seen reports this week of a demonstration of incredible disrespect for others in a 'muck-up day' activity elsewhere. And that behaviour also points to disrespect for themselves. We do not want this for our students," Mr Leddie said.
But parents of the students said the task was "humiliating" and said it was a heavy handed response to simply wagging school in their final week, especially during a year in which so many end of school events had been cancelled.
"Yes, they broke a school rule. No harm done. No crimes committed. They've had one of the worst years of schooling due to Covid," a parent said.
"They've missed out on every possible event that schools usually hold for graduating students.
"The school has done very little to plan anything celebratory for their final week.
"I just cannot believe the lack of compassion, leniency and sense of humour these kids have been shown."
A school formal is expected to be held in November and parents will tune into a live stream of the Year 12 graduation tomorrow.
Principal Leddie said who do not show up to pick up rubbish will be banned from attending the formal planned later in the year.
Originally published as Private school's 'humiliating' muck up day punishment