Tuesday, 8 September 2015

More shame at Geelong Grammar

From ABC online

A long-serving principal of Geelong Grammar says he did not do anything about sexual abuse claims made against a staff member by a student because he did not believe he was entitled to investigate, a hearing has been told.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today heard the story of a student who was abused by former Geelong Grammar house master, and now convicted paedophile, Jonathan Harvey.

Harvey was convicted in 2007 on 10 counts of gross indecency committed against another student of Geelong Grammar between May 1976 and May 1978.

The incidents raised in the hearing on Wednesday occurred in the mid 1980s while Harvey and the student were overseas and also involved abuse by other people.

John Lewis was the principal of Geelong Grammar from 1980 to 1994 and later went on to be headmaster of the world-renowned Eton College in England.

Appearing at the royal commission, Mr Lewis was asked why he took no action when the student's father twice reported the abuse to him.

Mr Lewis said the boy's father did not want him to report it or investigate it, so he did not. 

"The son had been subjected to abuse and this was clearly a very serious matter, but it was a matter that I did not believe myself entitled to investigate," Mr Lewis said.

In 1982 there had been a complaint about sexual advances by Harvey towards a student. 

Other than that, Mr Lewis said he had no reason to believe students were at risk from Harvey.

"The only previous complaint I knew of took place in 1982," he said. 

"I did not take the view that boys in general or pupils in general were at daily risk or regular risk of being abused."

Counsel assisting the royal commission David Lloyd also asked Mr Lewis to explain why he allowed Harvey to host gatherings of students at his residence, despite being aware of credible claims that he had sexually abused students.

"I believed the circumstances in 1986 were unusual and atypical ... holidays, 12,000 miles away," Mr Lewis responded. 

"The risk of sexual abuse at school was very, very, very much lower."

Yesterday: Geelong Grammar School was guided by legal and financial interests when it settled an abuse claim with a former student in 1998, a former principal says. 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard a former student, known as BIR, who alleged he was sexually assaulted at the school in 1980 by a teacher known to the commission as BIM. 

The commission heard that when BIR approached the school in 1997, he just wanted the school to acknowledge the abuse happened and take some responsibility for it.

The notion that principals at the school had that these matters ( sexual crimes) needed to be dealt with 'in house' and that how they were dealt with was determined by how much it might cost is totally repugnant. One ex principal said that the 'parents expected these matters to be managed by the school' is nonsense. Sexual assault is a crime and should always be dealt with by the justice system not some private school kangaroo court.

Another former principal defended his handling of sexual assault allegations in testimony before the royal commission.

John Lewis was principal of Geelong Grammar from 1980 to 1994, and was regarded as one of the finest educators in the world.

He went on to be headmaster at Eton, when royals Prince William and Prince Harry attended the school.

Mr Lewis said he put an emphasis on discretion when allegations arose and did not clearly understand when it was appropriate to report to police.

But the royal commission heard he was told of allegations of abuse against at least two of teachers and did not report them to police.

This man must be an idiot!

No comments:

Post a comment