Website spells end to teacher's 35-year career
By Linda Doherty, Education Editor
Greg Frawley has taught for 35 years, but after being named last month on a student website he doubts he will enter a classroom again.
Mr Frawley, one of about 10 teachers vilified on the website set up by students at Hurlstone Agricultural High School, is demanding that the Education Department take legal action against the unidentified culprits to prevent others using cyberspace to make death threats against teachers.
"It made it impossible for me to teach. I just had to walk out," he said yesterday.
The NSW Teachers Federation and the school's Parents & Citizens Association are calling for a faster response time by the Education Department against electronic abuse aimed at teachers or students.
Neither group has yet decided to support the snap inquiry into Hurlstone Agricultural High School, a selective government school, which was announced on Monday night by the director-general of the Education Department, Andrew Cappie-Wood. The Herald revealed last week the existence of the website.
Departmental officers arrived at Hurlstone, at Glenfield, in Sydney's south-west, yesterday to start preliminary investigations.
Mr Cappie-Wood said the review - the first since the 2000 report into another selective school, Manly High - would examine the "management and functioning of the school", academic results, student welfare issues, discipline and "inappropriate use of the internet".
The deputy president of the Teachers Federation, Jennifer Leete, said the review was a process of "blaming the victims for a pretty offensive attack" by students. "Rather than protecting and supporting the staff, they go in with this heavy approach of conducting a review," she said.
The president of the school's P&C association, Noel Upcroft, said parents supported calls for "swifter action by the department when [teachers and students] are confronted by electronic harassment".