OUTSIDE THE GATES: The group of high school parents wanting to get a P&C; committee up and running had to meet outside the school this week.
OUTSIDE THE GATES: The group of high school parents wanting to get a P&C; committee up and running had to meet outside the school this week. Digby Hildreth

To be or not to be the PC

BYRON Bay High School parents wanting to resurrect the P&C Committee were told by the P&C Federation late on Monday that a meeting planned for that night was effectively illegitimate.

The meeting went ahead with more than 20 parents - despite the letter creating confusion and causing a number to stay away.

It was held outside the school, in the open near the bus stop and despite the makeshift arrangements was run on proper procedures.

The meeting was the latest bizarre twist in a year-long saga that has seen the school appear in national media for the "sushi wars" centred on control of the canteen and resulted in the P&C members resigning and the committee going into recess in November.

It was agreed that the canteen situation was too inflammatory to be discussed in this forum and that the meeting's purpose was to establish a committee and communicate to parents that a P&C group belonged to its members and not to any outside organisation, including the federation. The first official business saw some of the former members and officers elect community stalwart Tony McCabe as chairman to oversee proceedings.

The group was concerned at the void left by the absence of a P&C Committee, said Kathryn Daniels, who was later elected vice-president. Leaving matters until March 19 - the date given by the federation for the first P&C general meeting - meant the parent community was being stymied in having access to and giving support and a viewpoint in several key matters, she said.

"There are quite a few opportunities in limbo, including having no clear indication of what is happening to the money (from the canteen and the uniform shop, which are usually operated by the P&C Committee)," she said.

Another "limbo" applies to the Monday night meeting itself. Because of a lack of clarification from the P&C Federation, those present were unsure if the committee they elected would have any legitimacy.

To gain some clarity, a letter is to be sent to the federation, the Department of Education and relevant ministers. The group plans to meet again on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the canteen is being managed under the auspices of the P&C Federation by members of the canteen committee that formed last year and brought matters to a head with demands for fresh food to be sold.



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