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Sex Cover-Up Teacher Sacked

A CATHOLIC school teacher tried to cover up the abuse of a 12-year-old male student by her husband, the Industrial Relations Commission has found.
The commission heard evidence the man - a former casual handyman at the small rural school - had previously been charged by police with indecent behaviour in the playground.
The teacher was dismissed from the school in November, 2003, after it had investigated the second complaint.
The woman, a teacher since 1964, appealed against the decision - describing her termination as "harsh, unfair and unjust" - and asked the commission to reinstate her.
However, Commissioner Michael Doyle has dismissed the appeal, accusing the teacher of taking advantage of her "power and influence" over the boy to try to cover up the abuse.
Mr Doyle, in a judgment late last month, says the teacher failed in her prescribed duties under the Children's Protection Act and contravened the school's child protection policy.
"I find also that the applicant's actions in this regard amounts to serious and wilful misconduct," he said.
The commission, which held public hearings over three days last July, heard that about November/ December, 2002, a former student at the school had been shown pornographic magazines by the teacher's husband.
The man had allegedly read the magazines, which contained images of naked men and women, with the boy for up to an hour and then asked him if he was sexually aroused.
The commission heard the man who was previously employed at the school as a casual handyman, had earlier been charged by police with indecent behaviour in the school playground. The charges were withdrawn in July, 2002, and he voluntarily resigned his position with the school.
The commission heard evidence that the teacher had asked the student to "keep quiet" and "not to say anything about the incident" with her husband.
"Clearly, she was torn between divided loyalties arising out of her relationship with her husband on the one hand, and to her duty of care to (the boy) on the other," the commissioner found.
"... She chose the interests of her husband, and indeed that of herself, over those of (the student)."
Mr Doyle described the school's decision to dismiss the teacher as a "fair response".

Adelaide Advertiser (12-4-2005)
Craig Bildstien


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