Principal’s absence still unexplained
A CAPE York Mayor says his community is being kept in the dark about the extended absence of their star school principal.
Siobhan Jackson, the principal of Lockhart State School in Cape York, has not been at work for about two months.
It is understood Ms Jackson’s absence has coincided with an internal investigation into the management of the school being carried out by the Department of Education and Training.
However, the department has refused to answer any questions about the school, only saying “the department is unable to disclose any information about any issues relating to staff due to privacy reasons”.
Ms Jackson is the widow of ’90s football star Peter Jackson, who died from a heroin overdose in Sydney in 1997.
She is also the sister of the ABC News presenter Joe O’Brien.
A 2015 episode of the ABC’s Australian Story profiled Ms Jackson “working on the educational front line in an indigenous community that faces its share of addiction and abuse issues”.
The program credited her with “improving attendance rates and introducing initiatives that have broken down racial barriers”.
Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Wayne Butcher said he was frustrated that his council was not being told what was happening at the school.
“We’ve been kept in the dark,” he said.
“We don’t know what’s going on.
“It’s frustrating us, because we’ve got enough of a battle on our hands with local kids not attending school, and now a school without a principal.”
Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said he could not comment on the issue due to privacy reasons.
SECRECY: Lockhart State School principal Siobhan Jackson.