I hear about an injustice, or I am approached about one, and it plays on my mind to such an extent that I have to do something about or I go close to mad.
Such an injustice is the case of the principal of Rangiora High School, Peggy Burrows.
In the last posting (link below), a paragraph, written from an understanding of Kafka, and applied in general to how the intervention process works, describes to a T what has happened to this wonderful principal.
‘In Kafka’s The Trial which along with The Castle act as a secular bible for me, the final paragraph has the innocent Josef K. being made to die – to die, as one of the participants observed, “Like a dog! … It was as if the shame would outlive him.” [The version referred to is Penguin Modern Classics, 2015.] In New Zealand, dozens of principals, just as innocent in behaviour, have their vocations made to die, “Like a dog!” with the shame to outlive them.’
‘The first sentence in The Trial begins with: “Somebody must have made a false accusation against Josef K. for he was arrested one morning without having done anything wrong.”’
‘This posting could well begin with: “Somebody must have made a false accusation against a New Zealand principal for she was threatened one day with a series of wrongdoing when she had done nothing wrong” … indeed, was a brilliant principal, highly respected, and could be seen to have done a power of good.’
‘It is an understanding of this posting that organisations should be viewed as having minds, and in having these, the ability to develop organisational narratives on matters large and the small, sometimes to devastating effect on individual rights and freedoms. It is the organisational mind that allows the education bureaucracies to act with such singularity and cruelty, enabling individuals to do terrible things in the name of the organisation they wouldn’t otherwise contemplate as individuals.’
The government intervened after receiving complaints from two former board members about financial mismanagement and it believed the complainants because it is philosophically inclined to do so.
Oh the injustice! The government must be made to realise that teachers are human. They have feelings and if cut bleed.
‘The Kafkan power of the intervention process is such that there is rarely a genuine problem beyond that manufactured by the intervention process itself, meaning that those complaining only need to keep complaining for the intervention process to produce the Kafkan situation of irrationality so deviously favourable to their ends. Once the intervention is in place, the question becomes not what the problem was, but whether the principal is perfect in every respect? And the principal, no matter how insignificant the imperfection revealed or how irrelevant to the initial “problem”, is always caught out, and much is made of that, and is a goner. After all, those making the judgement are those arrayed against the principal from the beginning. It seems the advice given by a character in Kafka should have been heeded: “The only right thing to do was to come to terms with the circumstances as they were.” And principals should ready themselves to have their vocations made to die “Like a dog!” with the shame to outlive them.’
From the response to an earlier posting by two people supporting the intervention two worrying but not uncommon themes made an appearance: anti-women (not capable of handling complex finances) and Peggy being too pro-Maori (it seems she did research on how education for Maori children in the South Island might be improved – I haven’t checked this but the too-Maori charge was, indeed, made).
You can be sure that at this very moment, the government is trying to find something with which to smear Peggy so her vocation can be made to die ‘Like a dog’ with the shame to outlive her.
Don’t let this happen.
I am not going into the complexities of the terrible behaviour of the government agencies, that can be learnt from elsewhere (link above) but urge you to sign the petition (below).