Principal’s name removed from elite school

by James Reid15 Dec 2015

A former Brisbane Grammar School principal, who was accused of ignoring years of child abuse at its campus, has had his name removed from the school’s sport’s building.

The elite school’s board of trustees released a statement on Friday saying the name of former headmaster, Dr Max Howell, had been removed from the building, which was known as the M.A. Howell Indoor Sports Centre.

"From our discussions with victims, we believe the removal of the name is fundamental to the school's apology to them," wrote the school’s chairman, Howard Stack.

Last month, Stack told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the board may change the name of the building.

The indication came after the inquiry heard evidence from multiple former students and their parents, who claimed they had told Dr Howell and senior teachers as early as 1979 of sexual abuse by counsellor, Kevin John Lynch.

Howell, who died in 2011, repeatedly denied he had knowledge of Lynch's abuse - an assertion he took to his grave.

Stack said the board had discussed the removal of Dr Howell's name from the building with his family, who supported the decision.

Howell's family said he would have acknowledged the fact the abuse was appalling and would have apologised to the victims.

"He would have accepted that as the headmaster he was ultimately responsible for the disgraceful actions of one of his staff," the family said in the board's statement.
 

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