A Brisbane principal has defended his school’s decision to sack its rowing coach after he was said to use inappropriate language in front of students.
A prestige Brisbane school has stood by its decision to sack a rowing coach for using a slang word during a talk with students about appropriate sexual behaviour.
Brisbane Boys’ College rowing coach David Bellamy was stood down after using the term “wanga” – a slang term for penis – in a talk to about 50 students in January to deter them from repeating inappropriate behaviour that had occurred at a previous camp.
Mr Bellamy has since spoken out against the decision, saying he wants his job back.
But school principal Graeme McDonald said Mr Bellamy’s behaviour and the use of the “particular word” would not be tolerated at the school.
He said he would have liked to have resolved the issue before it became a legal matter, but was not able to.
“It is simply not appropriate for a rowing coach to describe sexual behaviour in words and actions to children,” Mr McDonald said in a statement.
“Further when we tried to counsel Mr Bellamy he did not understand nor accept that what he did was wrong and a breach of our school standards.”
Mr McDonald said the school took complaints from parents seriously and it followed a formal complaints system.
“When staff are employed, they agree in writing to adhere to the ethos and values of the college and to display the correct moral values, manner, tone, taste in speech,” he said. “We must have trust and confidence in the ability and judgment of our staff to do the job we expect of them in ensuring the boys’ welfare and development.”
Mr Bellamy has described his dismissal as “illogical, unrealistic and unfathomable”.
“I was told by Mr McDonald that in a boy’s education in a church school there was no place for the word (wanga),” he told The Courier-Mail.
“It had to be the clinical anatomical description: penis.
“I was thinking, `Is that it? I am being sacked for that?’ I didn’t do anything else.”