- Punchbowl Boys Highschool principal vows to teach students traditional values
- He said he will fly the Australian flag, and ensure female teachers are respected
- It was revealed female teachers were excluded from official school events
- The school has been identified as one of 19 at risk of radicalising its students
The new principal at embattled Punchbowl Boys High School has vowed to teach students traditional Australian values and fly the flag every day.
Robert Patruno, who replaced Islam convert Chris Griffiths, said he aims to stamp out sexism at the school after it was revealed female teachers were being excluded from school events.
In his first interview since the Muslim-majority high school was thrust into the spotlight earlier this month, Mr Patruno said he will combat religious extremism and implement a government deradicalisation program his predecessor refused to take part in.
‘It’s about respect,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
New school principal Robert Patruno (pictured) has vowed to teach students traditional values
‘The kid, while he doesn’t maybe shake hands because of his belief, will place his hand on his chest. He is still showing respect to that female teacher by placing his hand on his heart,’ Mr Patruno said.
The new principal vowed to combat religious extremism and sexism at the largely Muslim school in Sydney’s west.
Mr Patruno said on Sunday he would implement the deradicalisation program – called Stronger Communities Working Together.
The new Punchbowl Boys Highschool in Sydney’s west has vowed to repair the flagpole and fly the Australian flag everyday
Punchbowl Boys High School was identified as one of 19 New South Wales schools at risk of radicalising Muslim students
Punchbowl Boys High School was identified as one of 19 New South Wales schools at risk of radicalising Muslim students.
The NSW Government implemented the program to help at-risk schools across Western and South-Western Sydney.
A total of 19 schools will take part in the counter-extremism program.
Mr Patruno promised to throw his support behind the program and ensure full transparency when it came to religious practices at the school.
Mr Patruno promised to throw his support behind the program and ensure full transparency when it came to religious practices at the school
With this in mind, Mr Patruno vowed to repair the school’s flagpole and fly the Australian flag every day.
He also promised to ensure students showed female teachers respect.
‘It all comes down to education. If there is those values in the school, I’m going to address them. I’m not going to turn my back on them,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
New principal Robert Patruno (far right) was met with threats of violence when he started in the position
The new principal also said he was focused on rebuilding a relationship with the local police, after his predecessor Mr Griffiths, a Muslim convert, reportedly did not welcome them.
‘All I know is that I need to rebuild the relationship with Bankstown police. The police haven’t been welcomed into the school,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
Former principal Mr Griffiths also reportedly told students to film the police if they were ever questioned.
The new principal also said he was focused on rebuilding a relationship with the local police, after his predecessor Mr Griffiths, (pictured) a Muslim convert, apparently distrusted them
Former principal Mr Griffiths also reportedly told students to film the police if they were ever questioned
Mr Griffiths was ultimately sacked for his lack of cooperation with the police, and government, by Education Department Secretary Mark Scott.
When Mr Patruno replaced him as principal, members of the community lashed out.
He was threatened by two men, middle-eastern in appearance, on Monday night who said: ‘We’re going to get you; we’re going to f*** you up, you dog’.
Mr Patruno said he was an professional educator and was undeserved of threats and abuse.
He also said he was a father and had only the best intentions for the students at the school.
The school in Sydney’s west has been identified as one of 19 to implement a government run deradicalisation program
Punchbowl Boys High School has been in the news headlines ever since it was revealed female staff were excluded from official events