South Australia Shadow Minister for Education David Pisoni
Sex Abuse In Schools Spiralling Out Of Control
Victor P Taffa
There has been a ‘critical incident’ report filed on sexual abuse in South Australian Department for Education and Childhood Development (DECD) schools every two school days in 2013 according to Freedom of Information (FOI) documents obtained by the State Liberals.
In just 74 school days to the end of May 2013, 35 critical incident reports concerning sexual abuse have been filed.
Critical incident reports are filed with regard to wide ranging instances such as death, sexual abuse, violence, and intruders on school premises.
The 35 critical incidents reports filed to the end of May in 2013 look set to eclipse the 47 critical sexual abuse incidents recorded in all of 2012.
It is difficult to discern the long term trend of sexual abuse critical incident reporting as sexual abuse was only counted as a separate category after Premier Weatherill relinquished the education portfolio in 2012.
“These FOI documents paint a stark picture of the Weatherill Labor Government’s child protection record.” Shadow Education Minister David Pisoni said.
“At the same time that Justice Debelle was inquiring into the Labor Government’s handling of child sex abuse cases, sexual assault critical incidents were being recorded at a rate of one every two school days.”
“The Weatherill Labor Government has gone to great lengths to deny there is a child protection crisis in South Australian schools there can be no denying these horrific figures.”
A staggering 8,561 ‘critical incidents’ have been reported in South Australian DECD schools over the past three and a half years.
The largest contributor to critical incident reporting is violence with 3,445 reports made in relation to violence or the threat of violence between 2010 and June 2013. That is an average of 5 reports every day of the school year.
“These critical incident reports paint a disturbing picture of the state of South Australian schools and the difficulties hard working teachers are facing every day.” Mr. Pisoni said.
“It is time for Premier Weatherill and his Labor Government to acknowledge the problems in South Australian schools and work with teachers and principals to find a solution.”
“South Australian children deserve a Government with the right priorities determined to get schools back on track.” Mr. Pisoni said.