Nearly 5600 people have signed a petition calling for an independent investigation into allegations of "abuse" at Bethlehem College.
The school's board of trustees chair says it would comply with any official investigation but wants to see evidence one is needed.
It comes after the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend published a story on Saturday in which advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community spoke out against the school asking parents to acknowledge its belief that marriage was between a man and a woman.
The petition was created by End Conversion Therapy co-founder and leader Shaneel Lal, who called on the Education Review Office (ERO) to investigate alleged "abuse" at the school.
Lal said they received hundreds of online messages from past and current students of Bethlehem College alleging negative experiences at the school after posting about the story.
Lal said a pattern emerged of alleged experiences of sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other forms of discrimination.
In their view: "The same-sex marriage view is just the tip of the iceberg."
Lal said they also received derogatory responses. Some people said: "This Christian school is just being Christian. If you don't like it then go somewhere else."
"Why should queer have to go look elsewhere when non-queer children can just go anywhere?" Lal said.
They said an independent review would document the gravity of any alleged harm at the school and help students heal.
Lal planned to ask the Green Party to table the petition in Parliament next week.
Tauranga pride advocate Gordy Lockhart, who raised concerns about the college in the media and with the Government, said it was "amazing" to see the "huge response" to Lal's petition and social media posts.
He viewed some of the stories being shared as "just horrific".
College board of trustees chairman Paul Shakes said the school was "happy to comply with any official investigation" but wanted to see evidence one was needed.
He said its initial response to the allegations shared by Lal was that they contained "a lot of 'ist' and 'ia' words without much solid detail".
He said he had never received any complaint relating to the claims, to the best of his knowledge.
He encouraged those with concerns to get in touch with the school and speak to the counsellors.
He said complaints were dealt with in an "open and honest manner" with "care to preserve relationships, grace, forgiveness and love".
He said the school did not discriminate, or tolerate bullying, and taught students to understand and respect people with differing views, faiths, and backgrounds.
He said it was committed to providing a safe environment for everyone and endeavoured to live out its beliefs in a loving and respectful manner.
He said the Christian beliefs supported and enhanced the health and wellbeing of students.
He referenced the most recent ERO report, which stated the college's special character "contributes to a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging for students".
Abuse at student protest
Bethlehem College has acknowledged fruit was thrown at students engaged in a silent protest bringing awareness to homophobic bullying on Friday.
A witness of the protest at the college on Friday, who spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times on the condition of anonymity, said the event was organised by students in line with National Day of Silence.
The nationwide event raised awareness around the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools.
About 35 students took part in the protest.
The witness said about 30 other students organised themselves to harass the protesters.
They stood around the centrum in groups, verbally abused the protesters, and threw fruit, which hit one student in the head. Others tried to further intimidate protesters, the witness said.
Protesters' signs included "fear does not belong in schools," "love is love," and "kindness doesn't hurt anyone".
School staff were supportive and were present at the protest to ensure the activity did not escalate, the witness said.
Shakes said the school liaised with the organisers in advance to make the protest peaceful and successful.
He said the school was looking into claims of misconduct, including reviewing CCTV footage and interviewing students.
He said it had been found some students did not meet the standards of behaviour required, and they would face disciplinary action, he said.
An apple and a banana, or part of a banana, were thrown and struck one of the protesters.
The school was aware some students made offensive comments, though it was still verifying what was said.
Shakes said the school did not tolerate bullying and expected students to show civility and tolerance for differing views.
He said the school was focused on the wellbeing of the affected students and their families, and the school's counsellors had been made available.
He said it respected others' rights to hold and express their beliefs and asked for the school's to be respected.
A police spokeswoman said a person reported an incident that happened on Elder Lane in Bethlehem on Friday about 11.15am.
The person was alleged to have been hit in the head by an unidentified object.
Police were making inquiries into the report.