Elite schools’ board member quits after social media scandal
A board member of the Christian governing body that runs four elite schools has quit following a social media scandal in which she was accused of "stereotyping poor people" and using obscene and "horrific" language.
Dr Bridget Cullen, newly appointed to the board of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools' Association - which runs Brisbane Boys' College, Somerville House, Clayfield College and Sunshine Coast Grammar - resigned late Tuesday afternoon.
She also quit her role as acting chair of the BBC school council, to which she was appointed after the shock resignation of Mark Gray in August last year.
PMSA chair Morgan Parker said Dr Cullen had "worked tirelessly during the transformative journey of the PMSA and she has made it clear that she has no interest in becoming a distraction to this significant body of work".
"We would like to reassure our community we are committed to the highest standards of conduct and ethical behaviour that are consistent with our Christian values," Mr Parker said.
Earlier on Tuesday, furious members of the schools' community called for disciplinary action against Dr Cullen, claiming her "wildly inappropriate" behaviour on social media contravened the PMSA code of conduct.
On Monday The Courier-Mail revealed Dr Cullen, a top lawyer, had made "truly jaw-dropping" posts on a public Facebook page she started after her BMW sports car was stolen from her Indooroopilly home in December.
Due to the nature of the posts on the Bridget's BMW Rescue Journey page, Dr Cullen was accused of "stereotyping poor people in disadvantaged areas" and her off-colour language, including the c**t word, was also deemed "not a good look".
On the page, since deleted, Dr Cullen traced her car via a BMW tracking app and pretended to be the juvenile offender, concocting made-up narratives above his drug-addled and otherwise dysfunctional home life in Redbank, Ipswich.
The page was also linked to her personal Facebook account.
The PMSA code of conduct requires all staff and volunteers, including board and school council members, to "treat every individual with courtesy and respect" and to "use social media appropriately and responsibly, whether as part of my duties or within a personal setting where it reflects on my school or the PMSA in any way".
It requires that "conduct, both personal and professional, should be such that it upholds the values, reputation and Christian ethos of the PMSA".
"Failing to comply with this code is serious and may lead to disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment," the PMSA website states.
In a statement issued on Monday night, Dr Cullen said she was "committed to social justice, for all persons in our society" and "it is often the case when a woman is in a leadership position that some people will look for an easy way to cut them down".
Originally published as Calls for swift action after elite schools' board member's posts