Toxic high school feud threatens to reignite
A GOLD Coast high school principal who won a bitter defamation battle against parents says police have stepped up patrols and the school has hired security guards as the toxic feud threatens to reignite.
It comes amid revelations that the state's corruption watchdog is reviewing a complaint from one of the parents.
Tamborine Mountain State High principal Tracey Brose, who sued parents over vitriolic social media posts, said the Education Department had provided on-site security at the school while police had made extra patrols and surveillance of her home since the toxic three-and-a-half year defamation case ended late last month.
The saga was thought to be over but one of the parents, Donna Baluskas, reignited tensions at the weekend with a fiery Facebook post on a Tamborine residents' page, saying certain allegations had been referred to "appropriate authorities".
The Crime and Corruption Commission has confirmed it is reviewing a complaint from Mrs Baluskas. She and husband Miguel were declared bankrupt and lost their house over the defamation battle, which ended with them being ordered to pay Mrs Brose $6000 in damages.
Mrs Brose told The Sunday Mail that "anyone can make a complaint to the CCC … it does not mean it has substance or there is, or will be, an investigation".
"I have taken all the available court and police measures to protect myself and my family," she said.
Mr Baluskas was convicted earlier this year over a violent home invasion on Mrs Brose's Tamborine Mountain residence at the height of the legal battle.
The Baluskases have claimed that after receiving an initial legal threat from Mrs Brose, they could not find their comments on a change.org petition set up to get Mrs Brose reinstated after she was mysteriously suspended from duty in early 2016.
"We had no control over our comments, we were not the publisher," Mrs Baluskas said.
However, their argument was rejected by trial judge Catherine Muir who found that "on the balance of probabilities", the comments were published and likely read "by a couple of hundred people from the school and Mount Tamborine community".
Judge Muir ordered Mr and Mrs Baluskas each to pay Mrs Brose $3000 and gagged them from repeating the defamatory comments.
Mrs Brose, who spent more than $600,000 fighting the case, had originally sued all eight parents for $1.5 million.
In a letter to Mrs Baluskas last week, the CCC confirmed it was reviewing her complaint.
She said she had also formally complained to the Legal Services Commission, which declined to comment "in the interests of procedural fairness and natural justice".