The ribbons were tied to honour victims of sexual abuse. But then they vanished.
A number of purple ribbons were tied to the wrought-iron gates of Knox Grammar School on Monday as a symbol of solidarity with victims of the horrific sexual abuse that occurred at the private boys’ school for more than 30 years.
But the ribbons were removed later that evening, outraging parents – including Today host Lisa Wilkinson, 55.
Twitter account @concernedknox, set up in support of the victims, had posted photo after photo of the school gates covered in purple.
But the account tweeted on Monday evening to say the ribbons had mysteriously disappeared.
Wilkinson, whose husband and sons went to Knox, also tweeted about the ribbons being removed.
Lucy Perry, who received a standing ovation after she gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday, responded to Wilkinson’s tweet suggesting there were bigger Knox-related issues to worry about.
Perry, now chief executive of global women’s charity Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia), told the royal commission looking at how the school responded to claims of sexual abuse between 1970 and 2012, how then headmaster Ian Paterson had touched her inappropriately when she was 15.
“I would describe it as between a pat and a grope,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported Perry as saying.
“He then slid his hand right down to cup my buttocks and . . . touch my genitals outside my clothing.
“I saw Paterson had what I would describe as a creepy look of satisfaction on his face.”
Wilkinson’s husband, Fairfax columnist Peter FitzSimons, recently described his experiences at Knox in a Sydney Morning Herald article.
“While acknowledging that as a big boofy bumpkin, I was not necessarily the type to be targeted by predators, my first reaction was astonishment at the impression given from much of the coverage that Knox was a hotbed of sexual interaction between teachers and students, while the rest of us turned a blind eye,” FitzSimmons wrote for Fairfax. “That does not remotely describe my experience, or that of my three elder brothers.”
He said he was appalled by the testimony so far.
Knox has responded to concerns about the vanishing ribbons, saying the ribbons were unwittingly removed by a security guard and have since been restored.
What do you think about the removal of the ribbons?