Many would have been surprised last Saturday to read an Auckland intermediate school had made pupils send a written apology to visiting members of the Warriors rugby league club for questioning the players about their dismal season.

Blockhouse Bay Intermediate considered the questions "disrespectful" to guests.

But if the school's attitude to pertinent questions of others is bad enough, its attitude to criticism of itself is no better.

The apology the boys had to give the Warriors was naturally the subject of criticism on social media this week, some of it from parents of pupils at the school.


Today we report the chairman of the school's board of trustees has written to all parents warning them those who criticise the school's decisions in this way will no longer be welcome inside its gates.

That is extraordinary.

It is to be hoped not many school leaders are as thin skinned as these ones.

Criticism is something all pupils should be learning how to express, even to guests, and they should be learning how to receive it.

When they see their parents made unwelcome at the school for criticising it, they are being given exactly the wrong lesson.

The Warriors were not at all offended by the boys' original questions; the club's players are accustomed to much worse.

The school says the boys offended one of its core values, Manaakitanga, meaning showing respect, generosity and care for others. The ability to criticise and accept criticism should be among its values too.