Mother fears for kids' safety with sex offender in the area

A CONCERNED mother considered pulling her two sons out of Eton State School after hearing a convicted sex offender was living in the area.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, heard the news on the first day of school this year.

"You send your kids to school, you think they're going to be safe and then you find out there's a convicted sex offender living (in the area)," she said.

"I was sick with worry... I felt so scared taking my kids to school."

After raising her concerns with school staff, the woman felt certain everything was being done to ensure her children's safety.

"They have been handling it, they've got police presence in the afternoons and during drop-off time," she said.

"I know the school is safe and the teachers are like mother hens."

Yet the woman said one acquaintance had pulled her child out of the school upon hearing the news.

Mackay Police District Superintendent Bruce McNab said police could not comment on anyone's criminal history.

"I acknowledge that the community had some concerns about a resident who lived near the school," he said.

"We've gone and spoken to that individual, and they're considering their options about possibly moving."

In the meantime, Supt McNab said police were patrolling the school twice daily - at drop-off and pick-up times.

Superintendent McNab said the man had not been court-ordered to live a certain distance from a school, and it was not within police powers to order him to move.

He said the man had only been living in the area for "a few months", and had moved there after the last school year finished.

A spokeswoman for Eton State School said the school would not comment on the issue.

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