In this week’s top story, more than 2,000 images of female students from 71 schools were posted or traded online in what is being referred to as a perverse pornography ring. News.com.au reported that young men use the site to nominate specific schools or regions where they are seeking nude photos from, along with the full names of those they are “hunting”. Once a name is provided, other members of the group then contribute by posting identifying data about the intended victim, including which school they go to, their photograph, home address and phone number. Many of the images show the girls engaging in sex acts – some while wearing their school’s uniform.
In other news, it was revealed that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) – Australia’s top spy agency – is offering high school students a “licence to hack” in order to identify and protect against foreign cyber threats. More than 100 high school students have been given placements over the last three years, and a number have subsequently joined the ASD as cadets or later as graduates. Tobias Feakin – head of the International Cyber Policy Centre at Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) – told The Educator that the ASD always been on a front foot in terms of recruiting. “However, it helps because it’s about trying to attract those with the right skills to an area of government that’s traditionally very secretive,” he said. “To those who might otherwise misuse their coding and cryptography skills, this shows that there are interesting avenues for them to explore within the system which are equally exciting, but clearly directing their interests in a positive way.
Finally, South Australia’s Catholic schools are set for a major shake-up in a move aimed at strengthening pathways from primary to secondary schools. On Friday, Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) announced that from 2019, most SA schools will move Year 7 from primary to secondary settings. The state’s parents have been notified on how the changes will impact on their school. In a statement, CESA director, Helen O’Brien, said the changes mean that Year 6 will be the final year of primary schooling. “This decision is primarily about meeting the learning, social and emotional needs of young people across all Catholic Schools,” O’Brien said. “It is also about strengthening pathways from primary to secondary schools across Catholic Education.”