Fitzroy Community School principal who told parents to send kids to class ...

Fitzroy Community School principal who told parents to send kids to class ...
Fitzroy Community School principal who told parents to send kids to class ...

A principal who sparked a Covid outbreak by encouraging students to come to class claims all schools should be open in lockdown.

Timothy Berryman as kids 'get runny noses' all the time and are more likely to get hit by a car than catch the virus.

The Fitzroy Community School in Melbourne's inner-city has been linked to 31 Covid-19 cases after refusing to close it classrooms during Victoria's lockdown.

Mr Berryman, whose 11-year-old son caught the virus, said the threat posed to children by the virus was extremely low and mild illness was 'inevitable'.  

'It's a bit like saying some children will drown and some children get run over,' he told the Today show on Tuesday. 

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'But we haven't stopped them going on scooters and riding their bikes and getting in cars. We accept that that risk is part of it.'

Moments earlier, his mother Faye Berryman - who founded the 'alternative' school - was cut off by Sunrise host Natalie Barr after she defended staying open to all students.

At least 30 students and staff tested positive at Fitzroy Community Centre at Fitzroy North, Melbourne

At least 30 students and staff tested positive at Fitzroy Community Centre at Fitzroy North, Melbourne

'The government are telling people only to send their kids to school if they are essential workers - not to do their own research and decide themselves,' Barr said.

'We didn't want to be forced into doing something that was against our conscience,' Ms Berryman replied.

'We always hope that the legal rules line up with the model rules, but teachers were being forced to go against their conscience.'

Barr then abruptly ended the interview by admonishing the educator and telling her she had threatened the wellbeing of the wider community.

'The trouble is that Melbourne has hundreds of cases, you got a growing outbreak and people in the extended community are at risk,' she said.

Mr Berryman soon after on Today claimed the risk of children dying from Covid-19 was lower than that from drowning or road accidents.

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'The risk posed by drowning or by road accidents is about 10 times higher than Covid,' he said.

'When you run a primary school, you get children sick pretty much every day. Somebody calls in sick or has a runny nose.

Fitzroy Community School Principal Timothy Berryman wrote to parents: 'Please feel free to send your child to school if you feel that this is best for them or best for your family balance'

Fitzroy Community School Principal Timothy Berryman wrote to parents: 'Please feel free to send your child to school if you feel that this is best for them or best for your family balance'

'While you don't want any child to ever get the flu or get sick or get a cough or whatever, it's actually inevitable and part of running a school.'

Mr Berryman said he had tried to offer parents 'the best of both worlds' by giving them the option of on-site or remote learning.  

'I don't know if I would have said I encouraged children to come to school,' he said.  

'I offered full classroom teaching to those who came on-site.'

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley on Monday said an investigation into the 'alternative' school in North Fitzroy would decide what sanction it should receive.

Principal Timothy Berryman said the threat posed to children by the virus was extremely low and mild illness was 'inevitable'

The school's founder Faye Berryman said it went against her 'conscience' not to keep the classroom open during lockdown

Principal Timothy Berryman (left) said the threat posed to children by the virus was extremely low and mild illness was 'inevitable', while the school's founder Faye Berryman said it went against her 'conscience' not to keep the classroom open during lockdown

'Our first priority is the

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