A mother of a young boy who was sexually abused by a four-year-old boy at his South Australian kindergarten claims the education department ‘ignored’ complaints.

*Distressing content

The mother claims her son was one of at least 15 children to be abused by the boy in regional South Australia in May last year.

‘My child was repeatedly abused and it was ignored,’ the woman, who cannot be named, told the Advertiser.

She claims staff failed to recognise the boy’s behaviour as abusive – despite claims of oral and anal abuse – and the education department subsequently swept it under the carpet.

‘I went to work and received a call about 2.30pm saying my child was hysterical and the teacher was unable to calm him down and there had been another incident,’ she said.

‘What my child disclosed has haunted our family ever since.’

“This traumatic experience has caused a schism in our small community town. The catastrophic effect has divided friendships, families and relationships,” she said.

“It is apparent that if the situation was handled correctly initially, the detrimental traumatic impact to the children, families and site would have been minimised.

“The issue for us isn’t the perpetrator or their family at all, it’s the way it was mishandled and swept under the carpet.”

She said staff failed to recognise the boy’s abusive behaviour, dismissing it as normal.

“Staff had told parents that ‘mothers are making up stories’ and ‘it was all age appropriate’,” she said.

“One teacher had said to a mother — whose child disclosed extremely disturbing behaviour — that, ‘there is nothing that we can see about the boy in question’s behaviour that is of a concern, it’s absolutely normal behaviour’.

The boy allegedly sexually assaulted a number of other children in his kindergarten class last year both at school and in after-school care, which Professor Briggs claims was dismissed by staff despite being re-enacted by other students.

‘The staff allegedly ignored anal and oral sex accompanied by threats and secrecy, dismissing it as ‘normal developmentally ­appropriate behaviour’,’ Professor Briggs wrote.

An Education Department spokesman said senior staff had been providing ongoing support for the families involved at the kindergarten and the wider community.

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  • when you send your child to kindergarten you expect them to be looked after and kept safe. this is horrendous to think that this could happen and that nothing was done about it to prevent it :(


  • sexual abuse should NEVER BE HIDDEN UNDER CARPET.! At such a young age shouldbe dealt with in appropriate way. As these are small children (not adults) should be treated on their level that it is not OK to touch other childrens private parts of their body, anyone doing this or having it done too, should tell techer. Do not appear cross or unbelieving but listen to what child/children has to say. Can stop far worse consequences in future if handled correctly. My firt thought and may be wrong but the child perpetrator may have had this domne to them! and as we are talking again I emphasise about young children, not knowing if right or wrong as boundrys have to be set firmly but gently. I am an adult urvivor of child abuse by an adult and it came up in my 40’s when youthworker dealing with teenagers who were out of home as result of this behaviour in family.. I am still on road of healing and started support group for woman who are child survivors, where they can be heard seen and believed. In society today there is more information but lss action being put in place to avoid trauma now or in later life What happens in our childhood affects who we become as as adults I personally felt worthless for long time. Sorry to go on but feel what I am saying needs to be said from one who knows


  • As a student of education, (and as a human being in general), there is so much wrong with this I don’t really know where to start! If a parent has a concern, it is the centre’s legal obligation to look into it and reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved! None of this ‘sweeping it under the rug’ nonsense! Those poor children! And that poor little boy doing the offending… Clearly something is not right at home for him. :( My heart bleeds for these poor darlings. Their lives will never be the same again. They will find it almost impossible to trust anyone, including their own parents, and their lives will be totally and irrevocably changed forever. :'( Such a senseless and unacceptable tragedy.


  • Lke nh


  • This is disgraceful. Surely the teachers should have recognised this as disturbing behaviour. Dhs should have been called for his family to be investigated, before anyone else was affected


  • The behaviour of the four year old is disturbing, but more disturbing is the attitude of the teachers at the pre-school.


  • This is very disturbing behaviour.


  • Very sad for all families and staff. But not 100% right on facts.


  • What?? Normal developmentally ­appropriate behaviour? They are joking, right?
    Poor kids. What a horrible experience for them all!!
    How can a four-year old even think about doing such a thing?


  • It makes you worry what the ethical standards of the teachers who call it normal behaviour are. Why haven’t the staff taken action and requested an urgent meeting with the guilty lad’s parents? Responsible action should have been taken as soon as it was reported, especially if more than one child reported the incidents. What has been done to the child ? or has he witnessed a couple having sex ? or worked it out from a child’s book with drawings in it. I know you can buy them to give to older children to esplain the basic facts of life but I’m not sure what age they are suitable for. Who knows what diseases or bacteria he may be infecting other kids with.


  • This is truely horrific. We send our kids to preschool and school with the belief that they are going to be safe not ignored.


  • What ignorant behaviour by the teachers. If they think what the 4yo did was normal then they need lessons on what is right and wrong for children that age. What could have happened or is still happening to the boy to make him act like this? It’s scary that these people think it’s normal.


  • How tragic. Not only for the children who were assaulted by this 4 yo, but also for the 4 yo himself. What must have been done to him for him to be able to sexually abuse others….at his tender age. I’m shocked and sickened


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