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Thousands back call for minister to reinstate pupil-dragging principal


The footage is being investigated by both the Department of Education and Victoria Police.

The petition, started by Mr England on change.org, said Mr Warner had been an “amazing influence” on the school and its students since his appointment two years ago.

It said he had “turned the school around” with renewed focus on learning and improved discipline.

“The worst outcome of this situation would be for the school to lose him as the principal and leader,” Mr England wrote.

“His work has only just started to take effect and there are only good things that could come from him continuing in his role.

“We are asking that his dedicated work at the school not be in vain due to this one isolated incident.”

Mr England said he had collected 200 comments from the school community speaking of their positive experiences with the principal to forward to state and federal politicians.

Mr England said he would withdraw his two children from the school if Mr Warner was not reinstated. He had heard of other parents considering the same.

It is understood the footage was captured on Snapchat by another student on January 31 and then shared on social media. The circumstances leading up to the incident are unclear and are being investigated.

Shortly after the footage emerged, Mr Merlino said it was “appalling and concerning”.

The minister has been contacted for comment. A police spokesman said its investigation was ongoing.

Robyn Grace is a journalist at The Age.

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