Lismore High explains decision to cancel school during siege
LISMORE High School said it had no option but to prioritise safety over learning, in its decision to close the school today, which overlooks the ongoing armed siege at Dalley Street, East Lismore.
Executive Principal of The Rivers Secondary College, John Baker, said relieving Lismore High School principal Chris Williams attended the perimeter of the siege exclusion zone to discuss safety concerns early this morning.
Together with the Department of Education, the school made the decision to go with police directions and make the school a 'no-go zone'.
"We used Facebook and local radio to informed students and parents and staff that the school would be non-operational," said Mr Baker.
Before 8am this morning the following message from Mr Williams was published on The Lismore High campus Facebook page:
"Due to a police operation near, but not connected to the school, police have advised that the school will not be operational today. All staff are to attend Kadina High Campus. There will be no supervision for students at Lismore High Campus and we request parents to keep your child at home.
Mr Baker said, "Our number one concern is for the safety and students and staff and we will continue to take on the advice given to us by police," he said.
A few of Lismore High students, whose parents did not have alternative arrangements, have children supervised at nearby Kadina High School which is fully operational.
Lismore High School staff are working from Kadina High School today.
With the siege well into its 20th hour, Mr Baker said the school would continue a dialogue with Police and prioritise safety.
"It's unfortunate that this incident is disruptive for students and families but safety is paramount," he said.