Principal Chris Griffiths takes fight to Supreme Court

A Sydney school principal controversially dumped amid claims he refused to run a deradicalisation program is taking his fight to the NSW Supreme Court.

Punchbowl Boys High headmaster Chris Griffiths was ousted as head of the majority-Muslim school in early March, despite the protests of parents.

Mr Griffiths upped the ante in his battle with the Education Department this month, filing a lawsuit in a bid to win back his former position.

In the meantime, as the legal battle rages, Mr Griffiths was photographed tending to his Winston Hills home – and cleaning up after his dog.   

The fight's not over yet: Ousted Punchbowl Boys High principal has this month brought his fight for his old job back to the New South Wales Supreme Court

The fight's not over yet: Ousted Punchbowl Boys High principal has this month brought his fight for his old job back to the New South Wales Supreme Court

The fight’s not over yet: Ousted Punchbowl Boys High principal has this month brought his fight for his old job back to the New South Wales Supreme Court

As the legal battle rages, Mr Griffiths has been left tending to his house and cleaning up after his pet dog

As the legal battle rages, Mr Griffiths has been left tending to his house and cleaning up after his pet dog

As the legal battle rages, Mr Griffiths has been left tending to his house and cleaning up after his pet dog

Mr Griffiths is pictured here in his role as school principal...

Mr Griffiths is pictured here in his role as school principal...

...And seen here as a member of a rock band

...And seen here as a member of a rock band

Mr Griffiths is pictured left, in his role as the principal, and right, as a member of a rock band

The legal battle began on June 1 when lawyers for Mr Griffiths asked the court to throw out the Education Department’s dismissal.

In papers obtained by Daily Mail Australia, Mr Griffiths’ lawyers claimed he had been removed from his post by way of a ‘permanent transfer… to another position’.

But he actually wasn’t transferred to another position at all, his lawyers argued, meaning the whole decision was void. 

The documents also said Mr Griffiths was only told the reasons behind his ‘transfer’ in a letter four weeks after he was removed as principal, on March 31. 

The full details of Mr Griffiths’ sacking have not been made public and he has maintained his silence.  

Education Department boss Mark Scott claimed earlier this year that Mr Griffiths had repeatedly refused to run a program designed to educate kids about extremism.

Mr Griffiths was the principal Punchbowl Boys High School, pictured here. He and his deputy were both removed from their positions

Mr Griffiths was the principal Punchbowl Boys High School, pictured here. He and his deputy were both removed from their positions

Mr Griffiths was the principal Punchbowl Boys High School, pictured here. He and his deputy were both removed from their positions

A dog's life: Mr Griffiths lawyers claimed he had been removed from his post by way of a 'permanent transfer... to another position'. But there was no other position, he said

A dog's life: Mr Griffiths lawyers claimed he had been removed from his post by way of a 'permanent transfer... to another position'. But there was no other position, he said

A dog’s life: Mr Griffiths lawyers claimed he had been removed from his post by way of a ‘permanent transfer… to another position’. But there was no other position, he said

The Education Department Secretary told 60 Minutes Mr Griffiths had repeatedly refused to implement a deradicalisation program

The Education Department Secretary told 60 Minutes Mr Griffiths had repeatedly refused to implement a deradicalisation program

The Education Department Secretary told 60 Minutes Mr Griffiths had repeatedly refused to implement a deradicalisation program

He also told 60 Minutes Griffiths – a former rock star and Muslim convert – had failed to report violent threats made against a teacher by a student. 

‘I think there were concerns at the school last year… about how the school was changing,’ Mr Scott said. 

‘The school had become more and more isolated, less connected to the community and key community institutions. 

‘And the staff there were very divided – strong supporters for the principal and deputy but also many staff who were unhappy at the direction the school had taken.’ 

The matter returns to court in July and comes after a lawsuit in the Industrial Relations Commission was discontinued. 

 Daily Mail Australia contacted Mr Griffiths’ lawyer and the Department of Education for comment on Tuesday. 

 

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