In 2020, dramatic news broke out of Queensland, Australia, that two dozen teachers had been banned and suspended from classrooms after being deemed an “unacceptable risk” to the students in their classes. This was shocking news for everyone involved, especially for many of the students at the school and the parents who sent their children there in trust that they would be safe.
So, what actually happened?
A breach of professional boundaries
As of 2020, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) released information that they had canceled four teaching licenses and suspended 20 other members of their staff. That occurred after breaches in trust and security were discovered, perhaps the most shocking of which was under the term “serious sexual misconduct.”
These cases are chilling. Perhaps the most serious one came from a relief support worker who was banned indefinitely from teaching after he reportedly assaulted a 23-year-old woman with severe learning impairment. Accusations were that he groped, kissed, and touched the girl inappropriately in a locked facility. Sadly, the girl has passed away, and that happened before the case and investigation could proceed.
Still, before her death, the girl told police in a recorded interview that “I didn’t want to say what happened [because] he said don’t tell anybody… I was scared if he came back, he would abuse me.”
Another case that made the news
In another shocking case, a 35-year-old science teacher reportedly groomed a 17-year-old student for sex during his biology class back in 2015 and 2016. While his identity is only publicly known as “DGM,” he also was charged with bribing the girl with $250, so she would lie about the interactions they had with one another.
Now, that’s not to say that all teachers hurt kids or that being in a classroom puts your child at risk, of course. These seem to be very isolated cases.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) organization looked into the registration of over 107,000 teachers, and it was these 24 who were suspended. That means that these cases were 0.02% of teachers.
On the other side of the coin, you may be a teacher and find yourself falsely accused of sexual misconduct. If so, you’ll need to know the stats and how the legal system works. You’ll also need a sex crime lawyer providing relentless protection to traverse the process as accurately as possible.
While the reported figures are low, they don’t make abuse any less shocking. That is why it’s so important to talk about these situations. It’s crucial for children, older students, parents, teachers, and management figures to be aware of the signs of abuse so they know when something is wrong.
These situations aren’t ones to shy away from. Instead, they are ones to openly address to ensure more children don’t have to suffer in silence with zero awareness that they need to open up about their emotions and what is happening to them. It’s only through dialogue and action that schools and parents can take action to protect young kids and teens.