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To think that this could never happen at my DC's primary school?

(32 Posts)
MissMap Tue 14-Jun-11 13:54:58

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-13753710
How could this teacher get away with these heinous crimes for so long. Why did the children involved not feel able to tell someone? How could he frighten them in to silence without making their parents suspicious?
This is a truely disturbing news story on so many levels. I do not wish to imply any criticism of the parents or children involved.
I hope all abusers realise that children do "tell" eventually.

WowOoo Tue 14-Jun-11 13:58:51

Hideous.
I was going on yesterday that there should be more male primary teachers. Now, i've changed my mind again.

Those poor children.

redexpat Tue 14-Jun-11 14:04:00

Perhaps the children didn't know it was anything out of the ordinary and didn't think there was anything to tell? I'm just guessing.

ScarlettIsWalking Tue 14-Jun-11 14:04:23

This awful story goes to show how few children really do tell and how long it takes for them yo summon up the courage and realise what he is doing is wrong.

He was so trusted by them sad it's just sick

AngryBeaver Tue 14-Jun-11 14:04:42

link doesn't work

OryxCrake Tue 14-Jun-11 14:05:27

WowOoo - that doesn't make sense. My DS works in a primary school. Do you really believe that being male makes him likely to abuse children? FFS. There are women who sexually abuse, too, you know. We need to protect children from abuse, not make assumptions based on the gender of their teachers/carers.

However - yes, those poor children.

antsypants Tue 14-Jun-11 14:13:31

I remember when I was in secondary school, there were a couple of teachers who we joked about being dodgy, you wouldn't sit in detention with them, or get caught anywhere alone, one used to rub himself up and down on the corner of girls desks, the other used to invite girls in for extra homework sessions, he was in the paper a while ago after being prosecuted.

The thing is, I would never have told my parents, it used to be a joke, along the lines of "Mr Bloggs is an old perv watch your backs"

Obviously it is different in this instance as the children are much younger, but not all children are able to understand the significance of what is happening.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 14-Jun-11 14:16:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SixtyFootDoll Tue 14-Jun-11 14:17:18

He got away with it because he was in a position of 'trust'.
Can you imagine telling on a teacher? And these children are too young to understand what he was doing was wrong.

They still haven't disclosed what happened to them so god only knows what he had said to them, if they did.

Absolutely awful.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 14-Jun-11 14:19:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wineisfine Tue 14-Jun-11 14:22:28

We know from some truly hideous news stories recently that the gender of a teacher/carer doesn't preclude them from abusing the children in their care.

The DC's school has made an effort to recruit male teachers and I think that's brilliant - lots of children need positive role models (of both genders), ours is an area where that's especially important. DS has a male teacher (year 4), and they have a great rapport.

This story terrifies and - to be honest - baffles me. Absolutely horrific. I can't believe the concerns which were raised, more than once, weren't acted on properly. It sounds like his fellow teachers were intimidated by him too. Completely unacceptable. Those poor children, and their parents. Awful.

Blu Tue 14-Jun-11 14:32:00

For heaven's sake WowOoo, apart from anything else, the recent case of abuse of babies in nurseries was against women.

Young children believe that what adults in authority do is what should be done. Evidence shows that children stay quiet about serious abuse within a family because the idea that thier paents are doing something WONG or BAD is an even more scary thought than what is happening to them. They may not have the language to talk about what is happening, or they may be embarrassed. Or not yet know what is harful, if they are not suffering actual pain.

When I was at school, though older than this, we were flashed at from the bushes every day. No one EVER reported it because if you did, they called your parents and in front of your Mum, a police officer and the scary shool secreatary you had to answer questions such as 'did you see his penis?' 'was it erect?'. That was way more embarrassing to us than just seeing a bloke, laughing and walking on past. But telling adults can be a duanting thing for any child to contemplate.

But it is very chilling that this man got away with this for so long within a school.

mrmagoo Tue 14-Jun-11 14:49:53

OryxCrake- do you think there are similar proportions of male and female abusers then?

OryxCrake Tue 14-Jun-11 15:00:29

Mrmagoo - no, but I don't think it's helpful to use a case like this to say that there shouldn't be more male primary teachers.

As has been shown by the recent nursery abuse case, women and men both abuse.

What's important is to ensure that children are protected from abuse, or potential abuse, whether it's by men or women.

As Blu says, it's chilling that this teacher got away with his horrific behaviour for so long in a school - where children are supposed to be safe and protected.

LolaRennt Tue 14-Jun-11 15:02:20

Bristol Crown Court heard that the school's deputy head spoke to Leat in 2008 about being too tactile with the girls in his class. No further action was taken.

Right there too tactile with girls, just girls. If it was non sexual and he was just a tactile person as some people are it would not have been gender specific. people noticed and most kept their mouths shut.

People need to be able to speak out when something feels wrong with out being dismissed as being in "peedo dailymail driven hysterics". I have seen mumsnet threads where a mother says A/B/C/ happened and she doesn't feel comfortable with it and watched her get told off for it.

Yes, the vast vast vast majority of people who deal with children are genuinely good people who do a hard job for less money than they could get for their skills elsewhere because they want to help. But that doesn't mean people should deny that they are some absolute bastards out there and if something feels wrong. Say something. We have instincts for a reason. More than one of his colleagues must have had an inkling somethign was off.

wineisfine Tue 14-Jun-11 15:04:38

More than one of his colleagues DID - a TA also raised concerns, but again it sounds like it was treated as an opportunity to advise the teacher that his actions could be misconstrued(!!), rather than that and a potential warning sign which warranted investigation.

mrmagoo Tue 14-Jun-11 16:44:41

One way of protecting them OryxandCrake could be to limit the opportunities men have to access children in an institutional setting. Not because all men are abusers but because abusers are much more likely to be male.

MIFLAW Tue 14-Jun-11 16:51:46

Brilliant - another thread full of shite about what a positive contribution it would be to our society if we encourage children to think that men should be feared and avoided.

Excellent, incisive thinking. Well done.

mrmagoo Tue 14-Jun-11 17:00:16

How does that follow MIFLAW? Where is anything said about encouraging chilren to fear and avoid men? I just think we are doing no one any favours by failing to acknowledge the point that statistically more men than women sexually abuse children. Can you deny that?

londonone Tue 14-Jun-11 17:05:35

mrmagoo -statistically most abuse actually happens in the family therefore we should ban all parents from working in schools in fact why stop there. As most abuse of children is carried out by parents we should simply stop people being parents, Problem solved!!!

MIFLAW Tue 14-Jun-11 17:06:09

You really don't see that a policy limiting men's access to children in an institutional setting - just for being men - sends a message to the children in that setting that men are not to be trusted, are to be feared, are to be avoided? And that they will then take that message with them outside that setting and apply it to men in general?

Statistically, drunk people start more fights than non-drunk people. Shall we instigate Prohibition?

mrmagoo Tue 14-Jun-11 17:15:52

I suppose it depends on the priorities. If the paramount consideration is to slinit child abuse the idea of not letting men work in schools in nurseries is there. But that doesn't mean that plan wouldn't result in the message going out that men are to be feared and avoided. It depends on whether you think protecting the minority at the expense of the majority is worthwhile or not. What solutions might you suggest MIFLAW?
And londonone - within families more men than women sexually abuse children.

mrmagoo Tue 14-Jun-11 17:16:28

limit child abuse

MIFLAW Tue 14-Jun-11 17:28:50

"It depends on whether you think protecting the minority at the expense of the majority is worthwhile or not. What solutions might you suggest MIFLAW?"

I absolutely do. What I do not agree with is harming the majority to protect the minority - and I think that your proposal is harmful to men and to children and to society in general. It also makes it easier for female abusers to pass under the radar.

I don't think there are any solutions that will work 100% of the time because, like any crime, most responses are necessarily reactive - you can't stop it happening, only punish the people that do it. Likewise, short of segregating men and women, you can't stop rape - and clearly any such segregation would be absolutely fucking mental.

My basic point is that the number of abusers outside the home of either gender is very small and it would be all sorts of wrong to react to this threat by discriminating against any particular group - the statistics just don't support that sort of treatment, I'm afraid.

MadamDeathstare Tue 14-Jun-11 17:36:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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