One of Sydney’s most prestigious private schools, The King’s School, has suspended a staff member after it was discovered that he attended major anti-lockdown protests on the weekend. The school reported the matter to the police.
School Headmaster Tony George said it was “very disappointing” to see individuals breach public health orders, particularly given how “hard everyone is working to get out of lockdown.”
“It has come to the attention of the school that a member of staff attended the protest rally in Sydney on Saturday 24 July … Consequently, the matter has been reported to Police by the School, and the staff member has been suspended from duties,” he wrote in a letter to staff that was obtained by the ABC.
“It is the mark of civil society that we should be able to engage in healthy debate and respect each other’s views,” he said. “But this must be in a safe, lawful and respectful manner, at all times.”
The staff member allegedly wrote on his Facebook account that the media focused its reporting on a handful of “non-representative grubs” to create a narrative.
“This is me standing up for what I believe in rather than being a keyboard warrior, a pacifist, or worse, a coward in my own mind. I live with me in the mirror,” the post continued.
“I do not believe in living in fear. I do not believe the propaganda. I do not believe in unjust house arrest … I stand for all students. I stand for all those families who are stranded, isolated and suffering …. I stand for freedom. I love you.”
The post has since been deleted.
New South Wales (NSW) police have set up a dedicated task force to identify and likely fine every protestor from the Sydney rallies—which numbered in the thousands.
Strike Force Seasoned is combing through social media, CCTV feeds, and police cameras to identify participants.
So far, police have also received 11,000 tip-offs from the public. The protests were deemed to have violated the public health orders issued by the NSW state government. Police have charged 58 individuals and fined 135.
Greater Sydney was undergoing a five-week lockdown due to an outbreak of the Delta variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. On July 28, this lockdown was extended by another four weeks, with the government citing low vaccination rates and continuing infections.
Five million residents are affected and cannot leave their homes except for four reasons.
Government ministers, health officials, and police have taken a hard line against further protest action, with NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller vowing to “heavily police” any future events.