It was the news that sent school communities reeling.
Less than two years after the devastating February 22, 2011, earthquake, school communities were plunged back into a period of uncertainty and anxiety. Black Tuesday, as it was dubbed by principals and schools, happened on September 13, 2012. Principals, with the board of trustees chairs, were summoned to the Lincoln Event Centre by the then Minister of Education Hekia Parata. Thinking they were about to learn about “cluster planning”, instead schools were handed a coloured named tag and herded into a different room and told they were going to be closed or merged. We talked to three principals about what really went on that day and the impact it had on their schools and themselves.