Kyogle High School P&C; president Michael Donnolly says the school needs a fence for the safety of students and staff and to ensure the security of buildings.
Kyogle High School P&C; president Michael Donnolly says the school needs a fence for the safety of students and staff and to ensure the security of buildings. Janelle McLennan

Kyogle P&C wants a fence

KYOGLE High School Parents and Citizens Association has stepped up its campaign for a security fence around the school.

The school has been lobbying for a fence, which could cost up to $400,000, for almost four years and believed it had climbed to the top of the priority list.

However, a visit to the school by a Department of Education official has thrown that into doubt, P&C president Michael Donnolly said.

As well as taking the campaign public, the P&C has asked MP Thomas George to intervene.

Mr Donnolly said the fence was needed for the safety of students as much as it was required to secure the school after hours.

"The school sits slap-bang in the middle of town and is virtually unprotected out of school hours," Mr Donnolly said.

"It is arguably the most expensive public asset in this town and while millions of dollars are currently being spent on welcome improvements, the department can't find money necessary for a fence to protect children and buildings.

"Cutting expenditure to delay this urgent work is not prudent management, it's foolish neglect.

"You have to wonder if the department is capable of taking any sensible initiatives without being ordered to do so by a Coroner or other authority who has had to investigate a totally avoidable incident."

Mr Donnolly said in recent years the high school had experienced ongoing vandalism and break-ins and claimed there had been at least one occasion when outsiders had come onto the school grounds and threatened violence against students.

He said the P&C's campaign had the support of local police and school principal Janeen Silcock.

"It's a safety issue for people within the school when it's open and it's a security issue when the school is closed," Mrs Silcock said.

Mrs Silcock confirmed vandalism at the school had increased and there had been break-ins and concerns about trespassers on the school grounds.

Lismore MP Thomas George was not available for comment.



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