Students say no to justice centre

Lockridge High School students protest.
Lockridge High School students protest.

The people housed in the facilities would have intellectual and cognitive disabilities and be deemed unfit to stand trial because of their impairment.

The State Government has planned for one of the centres to be built on land at Altone Road used by the high school for its successful agriculture and farm specialist program, infuriating the school community.

Organised by P&C committee members, more than 200 protestors joined forces outside the school to raise awareness of the issues and gain wider community support in opposing the locations of the facilities.

Armed with banners, protestors chanted ‘Save our school’ and ‘No means no, the prison should go’ while encouraging passing motorists to honk to show support.

School board chairman Ross Scholz said the main concerns were having people from prisons who were not responsible for their actions on school grounds and that having the facility would decrease their farming land from 8ha to 3.6ha.

‘While Helen Morton and her office might be saying it’s all well and done, it’s far from it and as you can see, how do you get kids out at 7am in the morning making this much noise without having passion for their school and for what’s going on,’ he said.

Head girl Caycee Banfield said students were so passionate about the issue because they felt it was ridiculous to have the facility so close to schools.

‘It’s destroying the community and it’s going to destroy our school’s reputation,’ she said.

‘Anyone who comes to Lockridge has got something to say about the farm because it’s a real part of who we are.’

P&C member Yvonne Caldwell, who has lived in the area for 43 years, said the protest was a success and was staged to bring more awareness to the community about the issue of having the facilities close to schools.

‘Regardless of what goes on with the school it’s a community issue,’ she said.