Principal: Government “lacked compassion” when deploying vaccine mandate


Verdon College principal Jarlath Kelly said the way the government had handled the vaccine mandate for teachers was uncompassionate.

Robyn Edie / Stuff

Verdon College principal Jarlath Kelly said the way the government had handled the vaccine mandate for teachers was uncompassionate.

A school principal spoke of the stress many educators suffered before the vaccination mandate deadline and said the government’s handling of the problem was lacking in compassion.

The director of Verdon College in Invercargill, Jarlath Kelly, suggested that the government’s implementation of the policy left a lot to be desired.

While supporting immunization as the way forward for the country, the way the government implemented the mandate policy created significant challenges for individuals and schools that should not have happened with a more planned approach. thoughtful and compassionate, said Kelly.

“I don’t think the way they handled it took into account the impact on the people who might be affected, especially when the tenure could end people from employment. I think it was pretty indifferent.

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A spokesperson for the Covid Response Minister, Chris Hipkins, would not be drawn to claims the government was lacking in compassion.

“At the end of the day, it’s about protecting people and children.”

Kelly said the vaccine requirement added a lot of stress to school staff across the country who had health issues and were concerned about the vaccine.

The mandate decision was announced out of the blue and the delay “put a lot of pressure on a lot of people.”

There was a lack of support and guidance for managers and staff faced with the situation, he said.

“This has created extraordinarily complicated situations for school principals and school boards.

Kelly also questioned the consistency of some of the government policies around Covid-19.

“You have to be mandated to be in a school, but if you are from Auckland, you can go anywhere in the country. [from December 15] and they just do random spot checks at the border… that’s an example of what causes frustration. “

Fiordland College principal Lynlee Smith was the only high school principal in Southland to provide details to Thing vaccination numbers for school staff. She said all of her 46 staff, made up of teachers and support staff, had received at least one Covid-19 hit by the November 15 tenure deadline.

Kelly said it was a sensitive topic for principals and many felt they were unable to comment given the circumstances and the privacy issue.


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