Principal to deal with bullying

AN EXPERIENCED school principal from the region has been brought into Mullumbimby High School to hear students' and parents' concerns about bullying at the school.

NSW Education Department North Coast school education director Greg Cloak said the principal, whom he did not identify, was not conducting an inquiry, but would hear all accounts of bullying at the school past and present.

“(She will be) hearing what kids are feeling and saying, and parents as well,” Mr Cloak told The Northern Star.

“And (she will do it) to make sure we're aware of all incidents there may be in the past.

“This is a tragic situation and it's an accident, but even though it was an accident we can learn from it and we will.”

Mr Cloak said up to 10 counsellors were working within the school yesterday to assist students and parents.

Mullumbimby High did not have a record of violence, he said.

“This is a school which does not have high levels of violence or critical incidents which have been brought to my attention, or that have been brought to the attention of the department.

“I would say that this is - from my understanding of the school - a most unusual occurrence.”

In the meantime, the school was trying to continue with normal classes, although a number of students had gone home with their parents yesterday after the march, he said.

Mr Cloak also said the school was encouraging students to talk to police if they wished.

NSW Education Minister Verity Firth said a third deputy principal would be appointed temporarily to the school and that, if necessary, that position would become a permanent one.

“This is an absolutely tragic incident where we need to be standing alongside the community and alongside the police as they do their job,” she said.



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