Jai's family waits for closure
IT’S SIX months since Jai Morcom died following a school ground fight at Mullumbimby High School.
For Jai’s dad, Steve Drummond, it is six months with no answers and no ‘satisfactory response’ from the school or the Department of Education.
While some have simply passed him off as a tragically bereaved father making life difficult for the police and the Education Department, the fact is very little has happened since that dark Friday in August last year.
Mr Drummond hopes that will soon change with the police due to hand their brief to the Coroner in Sydney on March 12.
“I’ll be travelling to Sydney to personally hand my own brief to the Coroner on March 11 with a 1000-signature petition,” he said.
He believes there are serious shortcomings in the investigation and, much to the chagrin of police, has conducted his own inquiry into the school ground fight and the events leading up to and following it.
“I explained that to the Coroner’s office and they have absolutely no problem with it,” he said.
Mr Drummond marked yesterday with a quite day in Mullumbimby’s Heritage Park – where Jai’s funeral was held in August last year, and where a memorial that Mr Drummond maintains still stands.
“The kids come down here to pay their respects when they feel like it and today people have been coming and going, signing the message book and finding out what’s happening with the investigation and inquiries,” he said. “We also had a minute of silence for Jai.”
Mr Drummond fears the truth of his son’s fate may never come out and that the silence in the school sends the wrong message to other children about violence.
He sent emails to every school in the area about having a minute of silence for Jai today.
“All said yes, except Mullumbimby, which said no straight away. Then I was told by the Education Department that parents (from the other schools) were complaining about it, but I doubt parents could have known about it at that stage,” he said. “The state schools then declined.
“I put the idea of a minute’s silence for Jai and Elliott Fletcher (the Brisbane schoolboy recently stabbed to death) to the Director of Education in Queensland, who thought it was a great idea.
“I also rang the principal of St Patrick’s College (Elliott’s school) and he was very supportive.”