Former St Andrews Christian Community School Year 11 student, Sarah Johnson, of Iluka, was suspended for speaking out about Frank Bailey’s behaviour.
Former St Andrews Christian Community School Year 11 student, Sarah Johnson, of Iluka, was suspended for speaking out about Frank Bailey’s behaviour. Debrah Novak

Bailey whistleblower's life ruined

THE direction of Sarah Johnson's life was radically altered when she was suspended from St Andrew's Christian College during convicted sex offender Frank Bailey's reign as school principal.

Sarah had dreams of becoming a nurse, but since the 2007 expulsion, her life has followed another tangent.

Now instead of studying nursing, Sarah is living in Newcastle with her partner and nursing her young child.

Sarah's father Peter told The Daily Examiner the treatment of his daughter by the school was pathetic.

“I have noticed changes in my daughter's personality and demeanour since this happened,” he said.

“She was depressed following the expulsion because she desperately wanted to finish her HSC, but couldn't achieve that.”

Mr Johnson said the treatment of his daughter by the school was the last thing he expected when she was enrolled.

“I only wanted the best for my daughter, she is the youngest of our seven children,” he said.

“That's why we sent her to St Andrew's because of their good references and their policy of caring for the students, but they are worse than schools in the public system.”

Mr Johnson said the school's policy, stated in a media release from spokesperson Wayne Richards read: “The school takes child protection very seriously. Our policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people under our care are considered a model for other institutions.”

“If this is a model of good practice for child safety and as I am in the knowledge of the truth, I believe that Mr Richards was suffering from delusions of grandeur,” Mr Johnson said.

Sarah and a group of four friends were on Bailey's radar, according to Mr Johnson, after reporting his treatment of female students to other teachers at the school and allegedly saying he was a paedophile.

He said after one of Sarah's friends was suspended for labelling Bailey a paedophile, his daughter took a stance against the expulsion.

Mr Johnson said what started as a minor incident where Sarah poked her tongue out at one of Bailey's daughters and was suspended, ended with Sarah being expelled.

“We got a letter from the school saying Sarah was welcome back if she was willing to drop all references to the Bailey family,” he said.

 Mr Johnson said a few weeks later he attended a meeting at the school with Sarah and she was told she was expelled.

What ensued over the next few months was Sarah trying to get her HSC at TAFE, with no success.

Then in 2008 the family received a letter containing, as Mr Johnson put it, “a gesture of goodwill” by the school asking Sarah to return just months before the HSC exams began.

“She would have basically had to complete two years of schooling at that time, which was an impossibility,” he said.



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