There were 60 Covid-19 cases linked to the outbreak last month at Fitzroy Community School which spread to students, teachers and household contacts.
More than 180 people have since become close contacts, making the school a Tier one exposure site.
Principal of alternative Melbourne school Tim Berryman (pictured) has been handed an interim suspension after operating the school during strict lockdown and 60 cases were linked to the school’s outbreak
The school of 120 students had been inviting all parents to send their kids to class in breach of lockdown restrictions, a move it publicly defended.
Principal Timothy Berryman was handed an interim suspension by the Victorian Institute of Teaching, pending an investigation.
According to its register of disciplinary action, Mr Berryman’s suspension came into effect on Wednesday.
He previously controversially said children ‘get runny noses’ all the time and are more likely to get hit my a car than get sick from coronavirus.
Mr Berryman said the threat the virus posed to children was extremely low and mild illness was ‘inevitable’ even when his 11-year-old son tested positive.
Mr Berryman (pictured) previously said children get ill all the time and are more likely to get hit by a car than get sick from Covid
‘It’s a bit like saying some children will drown and some children get run over,’ he told the Today show.
‘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.’
VIT has the power to suspend a teacher’s registration if it forms the view ‘the teacher poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children’ or it is ‘necessary to protect children’.
The principal’s mother, Faye Berryman – who founded the school – appeared on Sunrise earlier in September, being cut off by host Natalie Barr after she defended keeping the school open to all students.
Faye Berryman (pictured) founded the school, appearing on Sunrise defending their decision to keep the school open to children
‘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.
Ms Berryman replied: ‘We didn’t want to be forced into doing something that was against our conscience.
Barr abruptly ended the interview telling the educator she threatened the wellbeing of the wider community, putting them all at risk.
Social media has expressed their views on the matter, with some praising Mr Berryman for keeping the school open.
‘I am going to send my kids to this school if there is a spot available. As a teacher I absolutely approve of this wonderful principal,’ commented one supporter.
‘Bravo…Get our kids back to school. The lockdowns are so much worse for our kids than the Covid risk,’ wrote another.
Others criticised the actions of the school and the views of the educators, saying they were selfish for going against lockdown restrictions.
‘I think the students taking COVID home and giving it their family including grandparents would be more traumatic than homeschooling for a little longer,’ wrote one viewer against their actions.
‘This is totally irresponsible he has a duty of care to this students the children ain’t at school because there lives are a risk I hope none of these children end up on a ventilator,’ commented another.
‘How selfish…If you just work with the rest of Victoria to keep the spread down then all schools can get back open sooner, and kids will be flourishing everywhere,’ said one viewer.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said the priority was the health and safety of of children, families and staff.
‘This school has some history when it comes to sailing pretty close to chief health officer orders,’ he remarked.
‘Our compliance people – after the priority of responding to the outbreak is dealt with – will investigate the matter and based on whatever outcomes they come up with, take appropriate action.’
Fitzroy Community School (pictured) has been labelled a Tier one exposure site after over 180 people became close contacts to the 60 positive cases
It comes as authorities race to identify vulnerable young patients who were exposed to a Covid-19 outbreak at a Melbourne children’s hospital cancer ward.
A patient’s parent spent at least four days at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Parkville while infectious between October 1 to October 4.
Contact tracing was still underway on Wednesday night.
The hospital’s Kookaburra cancer care ward has been identified as a tier one exposure site, and its main street walkway has been listed as a tier two site for September 26.
RCH CEO Bernadette McDonald said all affected patients, parents or carers have been put into single rooms at the hospital to quarantine for 14 days.
No child in the cancer ward had tested positive as of Wednesday evening, but the hospital has 12 Covid-19 positive patients under its care, with four in other wards and eight being treated at home.
Follows an outbreak of the virus in The Royal Children’s Hospital (pictured) cancer ward in Melbourne. Those affected have been placed into single room quarantine
Ms McDonald said some children are turning up to the hospital with other illnesses or injuries and then testing positive for coronavirus.
Victoria recorded the deadliest day of its third wave of the pandemic on Wednesday, with 11 deaths and a further 1420 new locally acquired cases.
Schools have been closed to all but the children of essential workers since August 5.
Meanwhile, more Victorians stranded in the ACT and NSW can now come home after border restrictions eased overnight.