Inquiry hears bully complaints

Parents and locals meet at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall to discuss perceived problems at the high school.
Parents and locals meet at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall to discuss perceived problems at the high school. Richard Low

AN INDEPENDENT principal brought in to hear concerns about bullying in Mullumbimby High School has received up to 100 complaints from 40 different individuals.

The majority of the complaints were minor in nature and only a small number related to bullying or violence, Department of Education North Coast Region School Education Director Greg Cloak said.

“Very few of them identified bullying or violence as an issue in the school,” he said.

The external principal's job, which began on Monday last week following the tragic death of Year 9 student Jai Morcom after a schoolyard fight, had finished.

But a retired superintendent of schools will arrive at Mullumbimby High today to follow up the small number of more serious complaints relating to bullying and violence, Mr Cloak said.

Very few students had left the school since the incident involving Jai, attendance rates had returned to normal, and most of the students involved in the incident during recess on Friday, August 28 had also resumed classes, he said.

“This school is a fabulous school and the students in the last few days have been getting back to normal class operations,” Mr Cloak said.

Tweed-Byron Police Inspector Owen King said investigations into the events surrounding 15-year-old Jai's death were continuing and police had been back at the school yesterday.

“The detectives are back there again this morning speaking to students and staff,” he said yesterday.

Inspector King said it was still unclear whether charges would be laid over the incident and the results of a prolonged autopsy and subsequent tests were still not known.

A meeting of around 30 concerned parents and locals was held at Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Tuesday night to discuss perceived problems at the school and within its current Parents and Citizens Association committee.

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