Christian college in turmoil as bullying claims hit hard
A GOLD Coast Christian college is in turmoil, with staff suspended and the principal under fire over allegations of bullying.
The action has sparked an angry response from the Independent Education Union which has demanded the school appoint an independent investigator to look into allegations concerning the bullying of staff.
The State Government's Non-State School Accreditation Board is also investigating complaints about the school's operations.
Hillcrest has been hit by a raft of resignations of disgruntled teachers and admin officers.
Hillcrest's chief operating officer was recently stood down after raising concerns about issues including the school's investment in a reading program run by a private company, I Love Reading Pty Ltd, of which Mr Davis and two board members, chairman Len Oldfield and Jame Lewis, are directors.
The college's Human Resources manager was also stood down.
Mr Davis and Mr Oldfield did not respond to The Courier-Mail's request for specific comment but the school sent a statement confirming two admin staff had been stood down 'on two separate matters'.
"The matters do not affect the welfare of our students and the College is currently managing the staff members' roles," it said.
"We are undertaking an internal investigation into these matters and have engaged an independent investigator to assist.
"As the matters are being investigated, we are unable to provide further details at this time."
An Independent Education Union spokeswoman confirmed it had raised concerns with the school.
"(The union) holds concerns for the treatment of members at Hillcrest Christian College," she said.
"The concerns are related to actions being taken towards staff members by the executive officer (Mr Davis). We have put those concerns directly to the Hillcrest College Board.
"To date, the Board has refused to enter into further communications with our union in regard to the concerns raised.
"The Board has claimed appropriate steps have been taken or will be taken in relation to the concerns.
"Our union is continuing to provide support to members at the College."
The NSSAB said it was unable to comment due to confidentiality.
The Courier-Mail has contacted Mr Davis and Mr Oldfield for comment.