ACT public school principal attacks vaccine mandate alongside One Nation senator

Ian Bushnell 21 October 2021 55
Ron Lans

Rob Lans speaking in the video with Senator Malcolm Roberts. Image: Screenshot.

An ACT public school principal has come out against the ACT Government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for teachers in a Facebook video chat with One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts.

In the video posted on an anti-vaccination page, Charnwood-Dunlop Primary School principal Rob Lans tells Senator Roberts the mandate is coercion and teachers feared for their careers.

“I’ve been working with a group of teachers in the last week that are extremely worried about their livelihood,” Mr Lans says.

“I’m working with teachers in my school to try to support them in this context.”

He has been helping teachers deal with the mandate and questions government plans to redeploy teachers away from front line settings if they refuse to get vaccinated.

“Whether they have enough leave to manage this, whether redeployment is a suitable thing for a job that you’ve applied for, I applied for and won my job on merit and I don’t want to have to step aside and do that,” Mr Lans says.


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Mr Lans says he has been forced to make a stand that means he won’t be there at a crucial time for students when they return to school.

“I’m in a position where I won’t be there to support my school and my community through it and that’s a choice that’s been taken away from me.

“I feel like the trigger’s been pulled, but I haven’t pulled that trigger and yet I have to respond to it. And so I am, I’m going to stand up for what I believe in.”

Mr Lans agrees with Senator Roberts that it is an “absolute human right” to have the choice not to get vaccinated.

“I actually feel ashamed that I haven’t stood up sooner, that I haven’t made more noise earlier to support all the other people in Australia and across the world who’ve been faced with this same context,” he says.


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Mr Lans also describes how he has friends with children who have had extreme adverse reactions to vaccines and that the issue has ripped his family apart.

Calling the COVID-19 vaccines experimental, he says he has weighed the risks and catching COVID was a risk he was willing to take.

“I’m now forced to make a decision for my livelihood because the government has said this is what’s got to happen,” he says.

Mr Lans says the mandate does not make sense considering the extremely high voluntary vaccination rate.

“As a principal, I have lots of parents and lots of kids who are worried about what’s going to happen,” he says.

A government spokesperson said the Education Directorate was aware of the video and was following up on the matter in accordance with its internal procedures.

But the government would not say whether Mr Lans would face any sanction or counselling.


READ ALSO: COVID at aged care village and school as ACT records 24 new cases


“Vaccination coverage is a key component of the return to school plan. High levels of vaccination combined with public health social measures are the best protections against COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.

The ACT Chief Health Officer has issued a public health direction requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 for staff working across early childhood education and care services, primary schools, out of school hours care, and specialist and flexible education settings for the remainder of 2021.

Staff need to provide proof of vaccination to their employer and have their first dose by 1 November 2021, and a second by 29 November 2021.

The spokesperson said all school staff could continue normal duties next week ahead of their vaccination status being collected before 1 November.

“Public school staff in these settings who choose not to be vaccinated without an exemption will be supported to work from home where suitable duties can be identified, or redeployed to suitable duties within the Education Directorate or broader public service,” the spokesperson said.

“ACT school-based staff already have very high vaccination rates. When we surveyed public school teachers and staff, approximately 97 per cent of people who responded were vaccinated.”


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55 Responses to ACT public school principal attacks vaccine mandate alongside One Nation senator
stevew77 stevew77 2:23 pm 30 Oct 21

Fact – the vaccines dont stop you getting the disease. Fact – the vaccines dont stop you spreading the disease. I agree that its an issue of human. rights and he is courageous for taking a sensible stand. A mandate is not logical or sensible. The virus is not ebola. This is pure power play, nothing more.

    DJA DJA 7:32 am 31 Oct 21

    Fact – the vaccines greatly reduce your chances of the disease.
    Fact – the vaccines work to reduce the viral load if you do get the vaccine which means that the vaccines greatly reduce your chances of passing on the disease.
    Calculation – combine those two facts and your chances of catching the disease from a vaccinated stranger is immensely reduced. Your chances, if you are vaccinated, of passing the disease on (if you don’t know if you have it or not) are immensely reduced.

David M David M 9:36 am 23 Oct 21

Surely Mr Lans’ judgement is questionable. He may share the conspiracy seeking Senator’s views and that is his right. To share them so publicly brings him into disrepute and reflects poorly on those who appointed him to a position of leadership. It is his right to choose not to be vaccinated, but the greater freedom must be given to the community, principally, the children who cannot be vaccinated, their families and his colleagues, the protection afforded by vaccination

Noah Gaming Noah Gaming 3:52 pm 22 Oct 21

The school is fabulous with a great community. Please let’s not tarnish the name of the whole school. I very much feel for the staff and families. This is got to be hard on them all.

Lynne Meredith Lynne Meredith 3:11 pm 22 Oct 21

Thank god, my kids don’t attend Charnwood. This is not the sort of person I want educating my kids!!

Dilkera Dilkera 8:46 pm 21 Oct 21

Seriously! Is there anything to discuss. The safety of our children is paramount. I question if this person and the teachers he is supporting are in the right job if they want to put ‘personal freedom’ above protecting our vulnerable little children for whom there is no vaccine at the moment. Can’t believe this person is a school principal if he doesn’t trust in the science or show leadership on what could be a life or death situation. Minister please take action.

    stevew77 stevew77 2:27 pm 30 Oct 21

    Have you actually looked at how these vaccines dont actually work that well, and how in highly vaccinated countries like Israel, on average 50% of people in hospital are fully vaccinated?

TimboinOz TimboinOz 1:51 pm 21 Oct 21

Well now! My wife and I are in our 70s and we went and got our vaccine shots as soon as we could under 1b or whatever it was!

And I did get a reaction, down my LHS for 2-3 days. A bit of muscle pain , and it did make getting to sleep a bit harder than usual. But only after the first shot.

12 weeks later the 2nd shot didn’t cause any real discomfort beyond it being apparent I’d had an injection.

And, I’d do it all again in a heart-beat. When / if a booster shot gets recommended we’ll be in the queue.

I spent a good deal of my career in health-informatics, billing and risk management.

IMO, unless you Dr states that you shouldn’t, and gives on why, we ALL should get these shots.

I see it as a duty. As the USMarineCorps chaps I met during my service would say – ‘It’s a dooty, suh!’

Harriet Torrens Harriet Torrens 1:49 pm 21 Oct 21

There is choice. Along with choice comes consequences. Sometimes consequences are positive. Sometimes less so. But life doesn’t hand you a free pass from the less positive ones. Make a decision and live with it.

I wonder how many times this numpty has lectured children in his school about the consequences of poor behavioural choices?

There are members of my family too young to be able to choose protection. They get my vote for all of the care factor ahead of people like this.

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 1:46 pm 21 Oct 21

I presume he is now the ex-principal of the primary school. Makes you wonder about the selection criteria for principal positions.

    stevew77 stevew77 2:24 pm 30 Oct 21

    Id rather have a principal with a backbone, than a coward who folds under pressure…

Gerry Satrapa Gerry Satrapa 7:10 am 21 Oct 21

Appearing on a One Nation video!?! How embarrassing for the man 😳

Harold Brown Harold Brown 10:36 pm 20 Oct 21

Aligning himself with the conspiracy theory/fake information nutter Malcolm Roberts, you have to question his judgment.

    Noah Gaming Noah Gaming 8:14 am 21 Oct 21

    Harold Brown never mind the other lunatic who is was with also. 🤦‍♀️

Rade Kosa Rade Kosa 10:05 pm 20 Oct 21

The protected need to be protected from the unprotected by forcing the unprotected to use the protection that didn’t protect the protected. 🤨🤣

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 10:29 pm 20 Oct 21

    Rade Kosa the unable to be protected need protection from the unwilling to be protected.

    Rade Kosa Rade Kosa 8:55 am 21 Oct 21

    Kieran Angus it doesn’t stop infection or transmission. So that’s a baseless point.

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 8:56 am 21 Oct 21

    Rade Kosa it reduces both sooooo....

    Rade Kosa Rade Kosa 8:59 am 21 Oct 21

    Kieran Angus one word boosters. 😉

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 9:05 am 21 Oct 21

    Rade Kosa yeah and? We get boosters of a bunch of vaccinations? Tetanus is a good example.

    Megan Hogan Megan Hogan 3:43 pm 21 Oct 21

    Kieran Angus and whooping cough.

    Rade Kosa Rade Kosa 8:44 am 23 Oct 21

    Jo Hann numbers out of the UK. I’ll just leave this here for you.

    Jo Hann Jo Hann 2:02 pm 23 Oct 21

    Rade Kosa oh dear. "Big pharma" profits far more from the unvaxxed via expensive treatments. The need for boosters is common with MANY vaccinations. It is clear that there is extremely high efficacy in the period following vaccination, and that the risk of transmission in the first few months is virtually zero - that is sufficient reason to have everyone vaccinated. The "numbers and data from across the globe" overwhelmingly support vaccination (unless you don't understand the data, or are only looking at very selective data pushed our by certain politicians doe personal gain).

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 9:08 pm 23 Oct 21

    Rade Kosa you obviously don’t understand the paradox of vaccination, because if you did you would realize even that graph shows that the unvaccinated are worse off, as there are far less of them, so there numbers are worse.

    Rade Kosa Rade Kosa 10:03 pm 23 Oct 21

    Marc Edwards how many boosters will it take to just admit it’s not working. Anyway good luck guys.

Susan Williams Susan Williams 9:18 pm 20 Oct 21

Wonderful. Freedom of choice.

    Noah Gaming Noah Gaming 10:51 am 21 Oct 21

    Susan Williams he chose not to. He has freedom of choice as do all Australians. This does not however, then give you the freedom of the consequences!

Kersten Foster Kersten Foster 9:11 pm 20 Oct 21

Well. It’s always interesting when you see an educator use words incorrectly.

I’m not even going to bother getting into the rest of that horror show.

Josette Noble Josette Noble 8:43 pm 20 Oct 21

I believe in you it should not be mandatory

Nam Loot Nam Loot 8:32 pm 20 Oct 21

Ex principal unwilling to follow employers principles…….

Anne Therese Anne Therese 8:26 pm 20 Oct 21

Wonder if he read his employers social media policy????

steve2020 steve2020 8:04 pm 20 Oct 21

It’s not really shocking to be alongside One Nation anymore considering the comments about skilled immigration by the former NSW Labor leader Michael Daley.

Randy Goldberg Randy Goldberg 7:48 pm 20 Oct 21

Condition of employment. That simple.

Andrew Kerec Andrew Kerec 7:35 pm 20 Oct 21

0.5% of Canberra is behind you mate 🤪

Christopher Cuba Rabanal Christopher Cuba Rabanal 7:28 pm 20 Oct 21

It’s a mandate not compulsory until you agreed upon it.

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