Imagine that you’ve just dropped your kids off at school. You’ve spent the morning rushing to make lunches, badgering the kids into getting dressed and trying to beat peak-hour traffic without actually going over the speed limit or running over any cats.
Standing at the school gates you feel a sense of relief. The kids are safe at school for six hours – where they will undoubtedly do everything within their power to avoid learning any actual algebra – until three o’clock.
But before you have a chance to savour the moment of the whole 6 hours of wonderful childless bliss ahead of you where you cana actually get some stuff DONE, you overhear a group of mothers nearby… the words ‘sex offender’ float across your radar.
You can’t quite catch the exactly flow of the conversation but your stomach sinks all the same.
You walk over to the group and ask what’s going on. One mother replies that a child sex offender is at the school. The school that you have, moments earlier, watched your children walk into.
Your eyes widen, you swallow hard and your mind is spinning as to which of the teachers could possible have been a child sex offender. How is that EVEN POSSIBLE you ask the mothers around you.
It’s not a teacher. It’s not the parent of one of the other kids.
The sex offender is another student. A 13-year-old child.
This is the situation facing ordinary parents of children at a South Australia high school. The South Australian Government has been lambasted for not informing the school community that a sexual offender was in their midst.
The offender was a student at a different school when he committed the crime – but when he changed schools, the Education Department made the decision to not notify parents at the new school of the case.
The boy had been convicted of raping an 11-year-old student at his previous school and parents at his new school were outraged and afraid about being kept in the dark on the student’s criminal history.
The ABC interviewed the mother of the rape victim, who is worried that the Government isn’t doing enough to protect students at the new school. She said: