Inquiry into senior 'hard-working and respected' staff members 'could lead to walkout by teachers' A secret probe into the conduct of three 'respected' senior members of staff at Hong Kong International School has been condemned as 'a big mistake'. The action follows claims they damaged the reputation of Hong Kong's most expensive school in the run-up to the resignation of former head Bill Wehrenberg. A source close to the Lutheran school this week named the three as lower primary principal Madeline Heide, upper primary principal Bruce Kelsh and curriculum development officer Susan Rinker. The source said: 'At the risk of exposing the mystery three to retaliation I am giving you this information because I think that if parents find out they will be outraged.' Prior to being called to the inquiry this week, headed by a three-man panel, the staff had not been informed what specific allegations had been made against them, had been instructed not to talk to anyone about the matter and been denied representation at the hearings. None of the three has spoken to or communicated in any way with the South China Morning Post. It was claimed they were being investigated after Mr Wehrenberg had made allegations aimed at 'bringing others down' with him. The three served on the former head's administrative committee. The investigation was launched by the board in June at the same time as chairman Doug Henck announced that Mr Wehrenberg had resigned and would be replaced on an interim basis by principal of the high (secondary) school, Jim Handrich. 'It has come to the board's attention that three senior members of the administration may have acted in a manner that, directly or indirectly, had the effect of undermining the authority of the head of school and board of managers,' he said at the time. He has pledged to complete the investigation by Wednesday. The Post understands the three were to be issued with a secret document prior to the hearings. A draft outlined terms and conditions of the probe, saying that the 'contractual rights' of the parties would not be affected by the document, the 'conduct of the investigation' or its outcome. There would be no notice of meetings and the time, location and participants would not be made public, although the Post has been told the panel interviewed Ms Heide on Monday, Mr Kelsh on Tuesday and Ms Rinker on Wednesday. The action against staff, described by parents as three of the most effective and hard-working administrators of the school, has shocked the school community. A parent said: 'It's a big mistake, I don't understand it, they are really good, respected people. I am at a loss to understand what the problem is. I think they are being made scapegoats. 'If action is taken against them I can see a walkout by faculty [teachers] on the cards. 'Doug Henck talked about healing the school and moving on, so it is unclear why he would go ahead with these trials for three loyal, diligent and competent employees.' Former head of the Parent Faculty Organisation Trudy Samra said it was a shame the inquiries were taking place at the beginning of a great new start to the year. 'The atmosphere is great and there is such an upbeat mood after all we've been through. Jim [Handrich] is a great person to take over. He's respected, warm and been at the school a long time,' she said. With the panel having reported verbally to the board on Thursday, the results of the probe are expected to be made known next week. Lutheran church council officials Robert Roegner and David Birner flew in for talks with faculty yesterday and parents on Monday. Mr Henck and Mr Handrich declined to comment.