Prin­ci­pal’s ab­sence still un­ex­plained

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - DANIEL BATE­MAN daniel.bate­[email protected] ed­i­to­[email protected]­ face­­sPost www.cairn­ twit­­sPost

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.

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