The Citipointe Christian College principal has stood down following the backlash over an enrolment contract condemning gender diverse and homosexual students issued by the school.
Principal Pastor Brian Mulheran issued a statement to parents on Friday night saying he had decided to “stand aside and take extended leave in order to reflect on what has transpired and provide the College community time to heal”.
“Our intention was only to offer families a choice about how their children are educated, and to be open and transparent about our religious ethos that guides the way we teach and care for students,” the statement said.
“I am heartbroken that, by doing so, our college, and our community have suffered so much.”
“I have been devastated talking to our students who have suffered hurtful and hate-filled verbal assaults simply because of their beliefs or for attending the college.”
Mr Mulheran apologised for discriminating against students through the enrolment contract.
“I am sorry that some students felt that they may be being discriminated against at Citipointe,” he said.
“We would never discriminate against any student on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.”
The Head of Primary, Ruth Gravestein, will step into the role of Acting Principal.
It comes after the school earlier this week revoked the enrolment contract after severe backlash including an online petition protesting the contract which attracted more than 154,000 signatures.
The school said families would no longer be asked to sign and agree to the contract in order for their child to be enrolled in the college.
“We deeply regret that some students feel that they would be discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity, and I apologise to them and their families on behalf of the College,” Mr Mulheran said on Thursday.
“The College does not and will not discriminate against any student because of their sexuality or gender identity. It is central to our faith that being gay or transgender in no way diminishes a person’s humanity or dignity in God’s eyes.”
Former students and parents responded to the school’s decision to revoke the enrolment contract, stating the damage had already been done.