Hardly a week goes by without some news about a teacher having trouble with sexual boundaries when it comes to¬†students. ¬†Jared Savage reports
An Auckland school failed to act on concerns raised by two teenage students who felt unsafe around their teacher – six years before he was arrested for sexually grooming one of them and other underage girls.
The lack of records on the employment file of Damian Christopher Gillard at Papatoetoe High School also meant the 2006 complaints were missed by a 2009 police inquiry over similar allegations of which he was later acquitted.
Gillard, the head of the languages department, was eventually convicted of making sexual advances to one of the pupils who complained – and six other young girls – after a second police investigation in 2012.
He was sentenced in May to 9 years in prison for a raft of sexual crimes, dating back to 1994 when he was a teacher at Greenmeadows Intermediate in Manurewa.
He was found guilty of indecent acts against seven students, all younger than 16, such as kissing or touching their legs and breasts under the pretext of searching them for cigarettes.
The offending escalated to sex with a 14-year-old girl.
So that’s one thing. ¬†The other problem is that when these concerns are raised, “the system” becomes a huge obstacle. ¬†Granted, we don’t want to get the torches and pitch forks out straight away, but there is enough evidence now that concerns about teachers aren’t progressed through the system in a way that responsibly protects existing and future victims. ¬† Read more »