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.
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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