Independent senator, Derryn Hinch, has accused a prestigious private school of failing to notify parents about a paedophile teacher, the ABC reported.
Last night, Hinch told the Senate that a teacher who had been convicted of indecently assaulting a child was being shown “care and respect” by the principal and board of his school, Redlands College, which is located in Brisbane.
“One of the community members whom the principal and board of Redlands have been showing care and respect for is convicted paedophile Jonathan Sims,” he said.
“He was a Year Two teacher at Redlands who groomed a young male, and sexually abused him for several years. When police were alerted, Sims was charged last year…and the popular teacher took long service leave.”
Senator Hinch added that Sims was not on long service leave, but in jail. However, while the school moved to revoke Sims’ teaching licence, it failed to notify parents – a decision Hinch called “the ultimate betrayal of trust”.
“I guess that is where the care and respect kicks in, even for a child molesting teacher, the ultimate betrayer of trust,” he said, adding the school's board threatened legal action against a parent who asked whether there had been a cover-up.
However, in a statement, Redlands College said the information provided by Senator Hinch was misleading.
“It is unfortunate that the good name of Redlands College has been questioned by misinformation that was provided to him and media outlets. These events did not take place at the college or at any college-related event,” the statement said.
The College added it cooperated fully with the police during their investigation but was advised by police not to make any public statements or to notify the college community in order to protect the identification of the victim.
“From the moment we learned of these allegations, pastoral support was provided to give assistance to the victim and the victim's family,” the statement continued.
“We believe we acted properly at all times and that no student was placed at risk.”