Making family feeling supported the first priority for principal


The principal of a West Auckland school with a student hit by coronavirus said her priority was to make sure that the affected student and her family “feel completely supported by us.”

Anna Swann, the principal of St Dominic’s Catholic College, is strongly urging people not to lay blame on those who are sick after a student at the school tested positive for Covid-19.

“We’re a school that’s a special character school, and we believe in being kind and being respectful, caring,” she said.

“It’s nobody’s fault this; we’re talking about health issues here.”

Swann said all students at the school had been asked to be tested.

A few students have been identified as close contacts and asked to self-isolate.

She said she had spoken to the affected student and her whānau.

“I think they feel supported at the moment.”

Swann has urged people not to disclose the identity of the infected student or their family.

“If you know the identity of the student or family with COVID-19, please do not disclose their names or details to anyone else.

And discourage your children from speculating or identifying them on social media.

This can lead to online bullying and abuse,” Swann said in a letter to parents.

“I know there is a process they have to go through to try and make sure that everybody can be accounted for and all of that factual stuff that needs to come out.”

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said the St Dominic’s student was linked to a close contact of the church sub-cluster that had not previously been disclosed, and authorities were investigating whether the non-disclosure was on purpose.

Asked about Hipkins’s remarks, Swann said, “We take this very seriously because this is a health issue and this is our school, and we care very deeply for it, and that’s why we are following the Ministry of Health so closely.”

Click here to listen to the interview on RNZ

Click here to watch the interview on Maori TV


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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