A sexual abuse scandal at Trinity Grammar, an exclusive Sydney private school, left parents asking where was the supervision?
Original story first shared in January 2016
It has been reported that six, year 1 boys – six year olds- were found undressing, fondling, licking and digitally penetrating one another in an out-of-bounds school bathroom.
The instigator has been expelled and the other boys are all in counselling. Parents are left up in arms, which is absolutely understandable.
“The way that was allowed to happen and the arrogant way we were treated afterwards has left me with very little respect for the school,” says the distressed mother of one of Trinity’s Year 1 pupils.
“Where was the supervision?” asks the mother. Teachers were clearly not supervising the oval where boys from all years went out to play, or the toilets.
The mother of the first victim raised the alarm with the school on Wednesday November 18 last year.
Year 1 parents received an email from headmaster Milton Cujes telling them of “instances of inappropriate sexualised behaviour by some of our Year 1 boys”.
“For many of the parents this was the first they knew about it. Some of them were hysterical,” the mother says.
“You don’t pay $18,000 a year for your child to be sexually abused in his first year at school.”
The parents demanded a meeting and were told “the school had adhered to requests from FACS that prohibited this”.
“It’s their job to know what’s happening in the school and check on the safety of all the boys in their care,” says the mother.
The parents are concerned what long-term effects the current scandal will have on their children.
“I have spoken to a mum whose son was one of the victims and she is devastated. Finding out about it explained why his behaviour changed last term but she is now paranoid about leaving him and terrified about what long-term effects this will have,” the mother says.
Child psychologist Dr Kimberley O’Brien, from Quirky Kid in Woollahra, says: “The impacts of this on the children is a very individual thing and each of them should be spoken to by a counsellor.
“It is a really delicate age because the children may think they are going to be in trouble if they talk about what happened.
“But if they suppress it, then they could be subject to flashbacks, nightmares and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome that we see in other victims of sexual abuse as they mature.”
“Warning bells are going off that one of these children may have been sexually abused and is re-enacting what happened to them,” Dr O’Brien says.
“That is an area that needs to be investigated.”
Headmaster, Mr Cujes says, “The school is reviewing if there is a need to make any alterations to facilities or procedures to strike the right balance between privacy and supervision.”
Too little too late.
“Apparently we are going to have the safest, most secure school in Australia,” the mother says.
“Try telling that to my friend as she talks to her son about things no six-year-old should ever have to deal with.”
UPDATE on 20 October 2016
It has been discovered two boys regularly used implements to rape fellow students.
Two boys who attended a top Sydney private school regularly raped younger students with an assortment of pole-like implements they named the Anaconda, the Excalibur and the Dagger, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard, reports 9 news.
The inquiry, which began fresh hearings in Sydney on Thursday, is examining institutional responses to children with “problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools”.
Prestigious Anglican school Trinity Grammar, in the inner-western suburb of Summer Hill, is the first of several schools to come under the inquiry’s spotlight over the next two weeks.
The commission heard of two boys in the school’s boarding house in 2000 who reported they were being repeatedly “raped” with a range of implements.
Counsel assisting David Lloyd said another student’s written statement obtained by the school counsellor said the same two boys used saucepan handles and cricket bats or “any pole type of thing”.
The implements were kept under one of the boys’ beds, the commission heard.
One father said the school had a culture of cover-up that needed to change.
We shared this week the news that some School toilet blocks will soon be given strict security in a bid to reduce inappropriate sexual behaviour between students.
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