Principal Tracey Brose leaves the District Court at Southport with her husband. (ABC Gold Coast: Gemma Sapwell)
A Queensland high school principal suing five parents for comments they posted on social media says two of the defendants oinked at her in a Gold Coast courthouse.
- High school principal Tracey Brose told court that two of the defendants made pig noises at her in the women’s bathroom and in a lift
- Ms Brose says she was left feeling suicidal after reading online comments about her posted by parents
- The principal is suing five parents for $220,000 each in damages
Tamborine Mountain State High School principal Tracey Brose is claiming more than $1 million in damages, alleging the parents defamed her in comments posted to Facebook and a change.org petition in 2016.
Documents tendered during the trial show one parent called her an “evil, nasty, horrible woman”, while another claimed she had a “horrendous attitude”.
Ms Brose told the Southport District Court that defendant Donna Baluskas made animal sounds during an earlier pre-trial hearing.
“I went to the ladies and she made pig snorting noises at me,” she said.
She also said Mr Baluskas made a similar sound and later told her to “watch your back” while they were in the courthouse lift, which left her feeling “very threatened and terrified”.
The three defendants representing themselves — Laura Lawson, Donna Baluskas, Miguel Baluskas — leave the courthouse. (ABC Gold Coast: Gemma Sapwell)
It follows earlier evidence from Ms Brose that she was left feeling suicidal when she was first sent screenshots of the allegedly defamatory online comments.
“I was sobbing uncontrollably,” she said.
“I had vomiting and diarrhoea and was sitting on the floor of the shower for hours … I didn’t sleep that night.”
Ms Brose also recounted that after having worked hard to lose 33 kilograms in the previous year, she felt so humiliated by the experience she went on an eating binge.
“I sat there eating packets and packets of chocolate bullets and then vomited them up,” she said.
Ms Brose is suing each of the parents for $220,000, claiming $150,000 in general damages and $70,000 in aggravated damages.
The trial is expected to run for three weeks.