Dad starts 'Truth 4 Jai' campaign
SOME days Steve Drummond is so paralysed with emotion he can’t face leaving the house.
But he has to. For a start, he has a business to run. But what really motivates him is his determination to get to the bottom of what happened to his teenage son, Jai Morcom, who died after a playground melee at Mullumbimby High last year.
Mr Drummond was outside the high school yesterday, handing out leaflets as part of his ‘Truth 4 Jai’ campaign, which calls for anyone with information about the violent death to come forward.
While most pupils took the leaflets, and some even hugged him, Mr Drummond was pointedly ignored by teachers going to work.
“I’ve become a thorn in the school’s side,” he said.
This is because he continues to ask very publicly, hard questions of the school, the Education Department, and the police, who have for a second time asked the NSW Coroner for more time to complete their inquiries.
The shocking death of the popular boy on August 29 united the town briefly, as it gathered for peace rallies to mourn him and to resolve to end violence in their community.
But there has been no resolution for Mr Drummond, and he fears that the longer a public inquiry is delayed, the more the truth – and Jai’s memory – will fade.
Mr Drummond believes some students know more about Jai’s end than they are letting on – keeping silent out of fear of involvement with the police, to shield a mate, or out of confusion about their legal rights.
His grief is not far from the surface as he talks.
“It’s a big thing for me to come here to the school. It’s horrible, I don’t like it.”
But until he has a clear idea of what happened there will be no closure for him, he said, nor for Jai’s mother.
Closure is also wanted by Jai’s former classmates.
One, Kizzy Thomas, said speculation in the aftermath of the death had been ‘going on for so long, people no longer know what to believe’.
“The school maintains its full sympathy for Jai’s family but believes the investigation should remain solely with police,” Mullumbimby High principal Ian Graham said when asked about ‘Truth 4 Jai’.
“The school is continuing to provide information to police and to co-operate fully with them.”