Dad recalls the day a big branch fell near kids at school

JUST three days after eight-year-old Bridget Wright died after being struck by a falling tree branch at her Sydney primary school in February, students taking part in the St Joseph's Primary School Alstonville Cross Country narrowly missed a similar fate when a "sizeable branch" fell nearby.

As a result, the St Joseph's playground - which is close to the fence line bordering the two schools underneath the trees - was immediately closed until the trees could either be removed or pruned to ensure student safety.

Parent Mark Woolven, who has two children at the school in Year 2 and Year 4, was concerned.

"I'm yet to meet a parent who's objecting to the full removal of the trees or a massive cutting back of the trees to a safe height," Mr Woolven said.

"The kids deserve to go to school and be safe," he said.

"The playground is just as important a learning environment as the classroom."

Mr Woolven said he had seen branches fall near the playground.

"I've seen a massive branch fall down and the noise and he power of the tree branch falling down, if that had have hit anybody, it would have caused some serious, if not fatal, injuries," he said.

"I think it's probably one of the most talked about subjects occurring in the school.

"It's definitely a major concern for a lot of the parents."

Since February, St Joseph's school children have been using the Alstonville Public School's playground during recess.

In a school newsletter this month, the St Joseph's principal asked parents and carers for support in having the trees pruned to allow students access to their playground again.


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