Legitimate access to data no excuse for bullying
PPTA has received information that explains how, in at least one case, education minister Hekia Parata was able to
discover the schools of teachers who wrote to her from personal addresses.
This is no way excuses the stand-over tactics employed by the minister in responding to letters written by teachers as
individuals by writing to their employers – but does show how the information could have been come by legitimately and
not through unauthorised access of databases, president Robin Duff said.
“PPTA apologises unreservedly to the minister and her staff for any distress caused in this case.”
However the information was accessed though, it did not give the minister the right to respond to the boards of trustees
of teachers who had written as individual citizens, Duff said.
“The minister repeatedly claims that the teachers wrote on behalf of their schools but this is blatantly untrue.”
Some teachers did mention their school in their letters to give context to their concerns about class size increases,
but this does not constitute as writing on behalf of the institution.
“Teachers are simply not authorised to write on behalf of their schools like that. If they were to do so it would have
to be on school letterhead and authorised by the principal.
“This is merely a convenient excuse to justify blatant bullying tactics.”
The teachers who wrote to the minister did not receive a personal reply. The response went directly to the school board
with the teacher only copied in via email.
“Teachers have come to us feeling angry and threatened – this type of behaviour on behalf of a minister is utterly
unacceptable,” he said.