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Perth mother speaks out after son’s alleged school trip sexual assault

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Perth mother speaks out after son’s alleged school trip sexual assault

Warning: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting.

The mother of a private school student who claims he was sexually assaulted with a carrot on an overseas rugby trip says it’s time private schools changed the way complaints of abuse are dealt with.

Two former Trinity College teachers were convicted of failing to report the alleged assault and fined $1200 each.

One of them is appealing the conviction.

The mother – who can’t be identified – said it took five days before the school notified the family of the alleged assault.

“They left it over the weekend and called us in to let us know that our son had been sexually assaulted by his team mates in Japan,” she told Liam Bartlett.

“If my kids had nits you’d call me to pick him up that afternoon, but sexual assault can wait until the next week.”

She said there is a culture of silence and protection in private schools that needs to change.

“As parents, as the primary caregiver we expect to be told when our children are not safe, or something has happened.

“In this case they spent those days getting their ducks in a row.

“We should have been informed about what happened.

“My son was left with no support.”

It is a legal obligation to report suspected cases of child sexual abuse in WA.

They must have reasonable grounds of suspicion, including if the child has told them they have been sexually abused.

At the time the school reported the incident to the Department of Communities, but failed to report it to police.

“I notified the police, on the day that the acting headmaster advised me of what had happened,” the mother told Liam.

“That was my first question: had the police been notified? … The answer was ‘No, we have made the mandatory report’.”

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(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Liam Bartlett
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