New principal told 'We are going to f--- you up'

New Punchbowl Boys principal Robert Patruno was allegedly threatened by two men.
New Punchbowl Boys principal Robert Patruno was allegedly threatened by two men. News Corp Australia

A VIOLENT threat made against the new principal at Punchbowl Boy's High School in front of other teachers has been described as "appalling" by the NSW Education boss.

Department Secretary Mark Scott this morning confirmed they had encouraged new principal Robert Patruno to report the threat, made by two men of middle eastern appeatance aged between 19 and 20, to police.

This latest development comes amid community anger over the department's decision to remove principal Chris Griffiths and his deputy Joumana Dennaoui over a range of alleged issues, including refusing to participate in a state-government funded program to counter violent extremism after the school was deemed "high risk".

Ray Hadley revealed on 2GB this morning that Patruno had been threatened in front of teachers by two men who are claimed to have said: "We're going to get you, we're going to f*ck you up you dog, f*ck you".

Police this morning released a statement on the matter.

"About 4.30pm on Tuesday a 32 year old man attended Bankstown police station to make a threat made against him the previous day," it said.

"At the time of making the report the 32 year old wished no further police action action be taken.

"It's appalling and there are no two ways around that, and it's disturbing and that is why we encouraged the principal to brief the police on it which he did," he told 2GB.

"We've spoken to the principal about it, we encouraged him to report it to the police, but as I understand it, he just wants to get on with calming down the school community, spending time in front of the parents and the kids and getting on with his leadership."

It has also been revealed that members of the community are arranging a protest against Mr Patruno being appointed at the school in the "coming weeks".

Chris Griffiths was sacked as principal of Punchbowl Boys after allegedly alienating non-muslims at the school.
Chris Griffiths was sacked as principal of Punchbowl Boys after allegedly alienating non-muslims at the school. News Corp Australia

Mr Scott said he was confident the matter would calm down.

"We all know teenagers, teenagers get stirred up, of course it has stirred things up, but just as it quickly stirred up we're confident it will calm down," he said.

He acknowledged parents and students were surprised by the sudden change in leadership at the school.

Mr Patruno is a former head teacher at Punchbowl Boys High School and has also worked with children with behavioural difficulties at the Verona School in Fairfield.

His most recent post was as the principal of the Dorchester School at the Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre in Airds, near Campbelltown.

He has so far declined to give any statement to media.

It has been confirmed that Mr Griffiths was stood down after the school had refused to take part in the government-funded School Communities Working Together program - which aims to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

The department intervened shortly after school resumed from the summer holidays and immediate concerns were raised about the lack of "staff unity", several department policies not being followed and the school becoming "more isolated from the community".

Topics:  editors picks education nsw school

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