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Abuse inquiry into ex-teacher


A former teacher at Blackfriars Priory School in Adelaide is being investigated by police over the sexual abuse of up to four students.

The Advertiser reports today that it also has been revealed two Blackfriars teachers at the time of the alleged offending - one still at the school and the other interstate - have been suspended.

The pair agreed to voluntarily stand aside this week following an inquiry by Blackfriars and the Catholic Education Office into the employment history of the suspect teacher.

Blackfriars has engaged prominent Adelaide QC Paul Heywood-Smith to examine the inquiry findings and recommend what action, if any, will be taken against the two.

There is no suggestion that they are involved in any abuse. The findings of the inquiry, which uncovered the additional material involving the former teacher, also have been provided to police for examination.

On Tuesday, Sexual Crime Investigation Branch detectives were provided with details of the alleged abuse by Blackfriars Principal Dr Paul Hine and the Director of Catholic Education Allan Dooley. Dr Hine yesterday informed the school community and sent the parents of each student a letter advising them of the developments.

"The inquiry raised questions about the handling of child abuse complaints as well as new information in relation to alleged child abuse," Dr Hine told The Advertiser last night.

"Blackfriars started this process not knowing what would emerge but a determination to deal with whatever came to light.

"If, as part of this process, it becomes clear that the school has not dealt with issues in the past as appropriately as it should have we will need to acknowledge that and respond to that."

Mr Dooley said all files associated with the former teacher - who worked in Catholic schools in SA between 1971 and 1991 - have been forwarded to police. They included allegations relating not just to Blackfriars but other diocesan schools in SA.

SOURCE
Abuse inquiry into ex-teacher (The Advertiser 12/8/04)

LINKS
Adelaide school issues statement on child-sex claims (CathNews 19/3/04)
Media Statement (Blackfriors Priory School 18/3/04)
Blackfriars Priory School
Catholic Education South Australia


12 Aug 2004