Wellington’s St Mary’s College closes due to protest

Wellington’s St Mary’s College is the second school adjacent to the parliamentary protest to close due to ongoing fears for its students’ and staff’s safety.

The school will be closed until Tuesday 1 March.

Wellington Girls’ College has also announced it will be shut until at least then, with the school citing an ‘increasingly volatile’ situation with protesters at Parliament.

CathNews spoke with a parent and daughter impacted by the closure.

The triple-vaxxed parent said she initially had sympathy – “People have a right to be heard” she said.

However, she drew the line when the anti-mandate protestors told her daughter to remove her mask while on the way home from school.

“They’re opposing a Government mandate yet are kind of mandating my daughter remove her mask!

“A bit odd”, she added.

The student told CathNews she was walking home from school and was encouraged to remove her mask. Part of a group, she thought at least one of the girls over-reacted, but still was pleased she was in a group.

She described the experience as unpleasant.

“All we wanted to go was go home after school”.

A self-motivated student at this stage she is not concerned she will fall behind because she has work to do and intends to do it.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, St Mary’s College principal Andrew Murray wrote – “As you are aware, the protests surrounding Parliament have created a significant number of issues.

“Thank you to those of you who have contacted me to express your concerns – it is greatly appreciated. Yesterday’s mood and the events in Molesworth Street have caused us to reconsider our approach.

“I’ve spoken with the Board and they’ve agreed to allow students to learn from home tomorrow, Thursday 24 February. We will remain online until Tuesday, 1 March.

“I will consult the Board on Sunday 27 February to assess the situation and we will communicate with you following that meeting”.

Murray summarised the reasons he and the school board decided to shut the school as being:

  • it is unsafe to walk around Thorndon’s shops – there are numerous protestors at Thorndon New World who are not wearing masks and are challenging those who do
  • students are being dropped off further into the city and made to walk past protestors because of the inability of school buses to operate
  • concern from numerous parents, students and staff about the current level of safety in Thorndon.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand, Palmerston, Top Story.

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