Old boys from one of Sydney's most prestigious public schools say they are disgusted that federal cabinet minister Scott Morrison will be a special guest at an alumni fundraising event, warning it would be an embarrassment to their school to celebrate a man who has "so flagrantly disregarded human rights".
Almost 300 alumni of Sydney Boys High have signed a fiercely-worded letter to the school's Old Boys Union, which is organising a fundraising cocktail event next month featuring Mr Morrison as one of its keynote speakers.
Mr Morrison, Cook MP, and former immigration minister, is one of several prominent old boys who has been invited to reflect on how his life has been shaped by his time at the high-performing selective boys school.
But the invitation has infuriated many of the school's alumni, including the former Supreme Court judge Hal Wootten and veteran journalist John Pilger, who say it "is cruel and insensitive for the union to laud this man's connection to the school, its graduates, and their families." Several former students from the neighbouring Sydney Girls High have also added their name to the letter.
The old boys say during his time as minister for immigration and border protection, Mr Morrison was at "best complicit, and at worst the chief protagonist" in advocating offshore immigration detention policies that violated the United Nations Convention against Torture.
"As Sydney Boys High School Old Boys, as well as friends and family of Old Boys, we stand in outrage and disgust at the Old Boys Union's decision to invite Scott Morrison to speak at the Spilling the Beans function," the letter says.
"We call on the Old Boys Union to immediately rescind the invitation so as to spare the organisation, and the school itself, the embarrassment of being seen to celebrate the achievements of a man who has so flagrantly disregarded human rights."
The letter says the old boys do not want to restrict freedom of speech, but their action "reflects the desire not to tacitly endorse the actions of a man who has demonstrated callous disregard for human rights."
The event is to raise money for the union, as well as the Governors Centre, a new two-level building which will be a joint project of Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls to be built between the two schools.
Mr Morrison's office and the Old Boys Union have been contacted for comment.
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