Monday, 20 May 2013

SA Government in Paedophile cover - up!!!!!

DEC 12, 2012

POLICE have joined community groups and child abuse experts in demanding parents be told about any incidents of sex abuse in schools.
The calls increase pressure on the Education Department, which allegedly gagged a western suburbs school council from telling parents about a staff member who was convicted of the sexual assault of a student in 2010.
Department policy does not require disclosure of sexual abuse in schools.''
Former Supreme Court Justice Bruce Debelle QC to head up invesigation into padeophile at out-of-school-hour care

Pressure from several quarters is mounting on State Education Minister Grace Portolesi for parents to be advised of any incidents of sex abuse in a school. Picture: Brooke Whatnall Source: The Advertiser
FORMER Supreme Court Justice Bruce Debelle QC will head an investigation into allegations of a cover-up of sexual abuse at an Adelaide out-of-school hours care service.
Education Minister Grace Portolesi made the announcement in Parliament this afternoon.
Ms Portolesi said the review should begin as soon as possible and be concluded by the start of next year.
It will examine the "events and circumstances surrounding the non-disclosure to the school community" of allegations of sexual assault committed by the then director of the out-of-school hours care service, Mark Christopher Harvey, in late 2010, she said.
"The review will consider the actions of all relevant agencies, and make recommendations relating to the actions of the parties involved and the procedures and processes that should be in place in these circumstances," Ms Portolesi said.

POLICE have joined community groups and child abuse experts in demanding parents be told about any incidents of sex abuse in schools.
The calls increase pressure on the Education Department, which allegedly gagged a western suburbs school council from telling parents about a staff member who was convicted of the sexual assault of a student in 2010.
Department policy does not require disclosure of sexual abuse in schools.
Education Minister Grace Portolesi said yesterday she was not aware if the department had pressured the school into keeping details of the abuse secret but would appoint "within days" someone to head an independent investigation into the incident.
"I am committed to getting to the bottom of what has transpired," she said.
The State Ombudsman has also been investigating the matter since March.
Mark Christopher Harvey of Largs North was convicted in February this year of unlawful sexual intercourse with a young girl in 2010 while she was attending his out-of-hours school care program.
Child protection expert UniSA Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs said parents on the school's governing council approached her about a year ago because they were unhappy parents had not been informed.
"They were concerned because they claimed that an administrator from the department had banned them from telling other parents what had happened," she said.
"They were concerned because they thought there could be other victims."
Ms Portolesi said she had no knowledge of other cases where parents were kept in the dark.
Prof Briggs said it was not the first time she had been told that claims of sexual abuse were being kept secret.
Ms Portolesi has been under fire this week after she told Parliament on Tuesday her department had kept details of Harvey's misdemeanours secret on the advice of police.
SA Police later released a statement rejecting that and yesterday a police spokesperson told The Advertiser parents had a right to know if allegations or charges had been levelled against a teacher or staff member.
"SAPOL believes that guardians and parents of children placed in a position of potential harm should be made aware of incidents such as these," the spokesperson said.
"This is so they have the appropriate information to assess whether their child may have been a victim of abuse.
"It also gives parents an avenue to voice or share concerns and information with the school.
"While there may be times where SAPOL requests some evidentiary information is withheld, as it may impact the ongoing investigation or judicial process, that would certainly not preclude generic details being given."
SA Association of State School Organisations director David Knuckey said he had been flooded with calls expressing outrage that such information was withheld.
"If the current policy does not require parents to immediately be informed when their child has been at risk, it should be changed," he said.
SA Association of School Parent Clubs president Jenice Zerna said schools must be "open and transparent" with parents.
The State Ombudsman has also been investigating since March.
Departmental policy is to deal with schools and police to decide on action following incidents, Ms Portolesi said, but it depended on "the circumstances surrounding the individual case" as to whether parents were notified.
A spokeswoman for Premier Jay Weatherill, who was education minister when the 2010 incident occurred, said he found out about the case on Tuesday.
In Parliament he said the Government did need to explain to parents why it kept the information secret.

Comments (33)

  • Sam of AdelaidePosted at 10:36 PM October 31, 2012
    Why is Grace Portolesi claiming she will get to the bottom of it? She is the Minsiter, she admits she has known since March and she did nothing! The buck stops with her. She is the one who needs investigating.
    Comment 1 of 33
  • Tell Parents ImmediatelyPosted at 11:30 PM October 31, 2012
    Parents have the right to know and to be told immediately. The buck stops with you Minister Portolesi ... before you flap your gums again in front of Parliament, try checking your facts and take some responsibility for what you say.
    Comment 2 of 33
  • Gus of AdelaidePosted at 11:41 PM October 31, 2012
    Governments are forcing parents to send their children to school. Governments are forcing parents to follow centrelink obligations (appointments, courses, work for the dole etc.) to claim unemployment benefit, or any extra money from unemployment benefit on top of any paid work they do if they are single parents parents are forced into situations by the Government where the have to leave their children in child care centers, and after school is beyond any comprehension how any Politicians think it's okay not to inform parents about Pedophiles. They are effectively enabling pedophilia with this attitude......... Politicians should be investigated thoroughly over this shocking situation........ Childrens lives are ruined forever whenever they are abused by Pedophiles.
    Comment 3 of 33
  • shannon of AdelaidePosted at 11:57 PM October 31, 2012
    This isnt a cut and dry issue. People need to realise the effect that can be had on the victims. If the student body know that a student has had an issue with a teacher and that teacher has been removed from the school then suddenly, because parents want to know about it, the school announces the teacher was responsible for sexually abusing a child, well it doesnt take much imagination to know what will happen to that students social status in the school. If you dont think this is a realistic concern, have a look at how judgemental you are around your own childrens friends and whether you want a child with possible sexualised behaviour being alone with them.
    Comment 4 of 33
  • Bob of Port of Port AdelaidePosted at 12:59 AM November 01, 2012
    A friends daughter was sexually abused while in a "Family day care" location by a male carer and because she was too young to go to court personally and the video interview was judged as being not solid enough this male carer is still caring for young girls and boys. So this man knows if the children are very young he will not be prosecuted. To date the parents of children in his care think he was without a carers permit for months while being investigated because there was a minor complaint from a parent. This man still has control of young girls and boys all day long, there was never any feedback on what extra controls would be put in place to monitor this man, because they were happy to let the issue die quietly and just go away. There are a few persons in the child care system that should hang their heads in shame, and if something does happen Sic. Don't tell everyone. My hope is that in the future this young girl will lay charges against this man, where the powers that be did not have the balls to do. Willing to discuss this incident with anyone in power/ anytime.
    Comment 5 of 33
  • Sick to death of do-gooders!Posted at 1:40 AM November 01, 2012
    Education Minister Grace Portolesi & Premier Jay Weatherill both need to stand down as Minister's.....effective immediately!!!!
    Comment 6 of 33
  • Neville Jenke of AdelaidePosted at 3:01 AM November 01, 2012
    They have a "DUTY TO WARN" no ifs or buts how hard is that.
    Comment 7 of 33
  • Markus of Up NorthPosted at 5:24 AM November 01, 2012
    Smacks of a cover up, time to go Grace. Another bungle.
    Comment 8 of 33
  • Charles BoylePosted at 6:14 AM November 01, 2012
    Weatherill wants the Government to explain why it kept the information secret when HE was the Minister at the time!! What's he going to do? Go home and look in the mirror?
    Comment 9 of 33
  • mizfit of adelaidePosted at 7:27 AM November 01, 2012
    Parents, and indeed all of Australia need to protect the children, but also accused needs to be protected, especially from vigilante groups. By all means put an anklet on the supposed perp, and monitor 24hours a day. But what if it turns out they are innocent, and already have been bashed, abused and hounded? There have already been reports of cases overseas where this has happened.
    Comment 10 of 33
  • SanityPosted at 7:38 AM November 01, 2012
    I can see another problem with this, which is already occurring, but will magnify. Not saying that sexual abuse allegations should be covered up, but it might be worth noting that it'll actually turn men away from teaching or working with children even more. We constantly bitch, rant, whine and moan about how there aren't enough men in the education or childcare professions, but at the same time, society as a whole seems to have the following attitude (note: NOT my views): "All male teachers/childcare workers/SSO's are pedophiles. If they have not been accused already, they are either being hidden or haven't abused them yet. If they turn out to not be a pedophile, then DECD/school/childcare is hiding them, they are guilty anyway." and so on and so forth.
    Comment 11 of 33
  • The Watch of the North Tower GatesPosted at 7:57 AM November 01, 2012
    Seems to me to be the Department of Education who instructed their employee how to react to the incident did not quite do the right thing. Just in case it could be traced to someone in the Department. Or lead to liability accusations or even worse, legal bills. Cover your own a.... or blame someone else but don't ever admit a blunder. Yes, Minister - it's your problem, now.
    Comment 12 of 33
  • parent of adelaidePosted at 8:22 AM November 01, 2012
    get a copy of the school council minutes you might find the answer there..
    Comment 13 of 33
  • MelPosted at 8:31 AM November 01, 2012
    Surely it a negligent act to not allow parent to know of a sexual predator that's around there children! Where is the duty of care it must lie with the children not in protecting a known sexual pervert that abuses young children. This policy will see law suits, due to a know predator abusing kids when it could of been prevented with full disclosure, a disgrace these animals deserve to be named and shamed are children deserve to safe and parents have a right to be fully informed in such matters.
    Comment 14 of 33
  • Jan of AldgatePosted at 8:55 AM November 01, 2012
    Another scandalous episode to add to the litany of disasters faced by this department with the usual strategy of silence,dubious information, responsibility shifted and coercion by officialdom to other parents. I have become so sick of the antics of those involved and with both sides of politics unwilling to introduce any substantial changes.Stop talking about transparency and accountability - it will never exist.After the matter is relegated for analysis and with the passing of time,all will be forgotten.A small child will be scarred for life but that is scant concern for those who put self preservation above all else.
    Comment 15 of 33
  • RDSPosted at 9:00 AM November 01, 2012
    So the minister was acting on advice from her department who told her that the police were responsible for the cover up. Really, you don't have to be very bright to think, hang on this doesn't sound quite right, it doesn't sound right coming from the gate keepers of law and order in this state. I will contact the commissioner or the minister for police and run it past them. Come on minister it is your job to find out the true facts and not to accept on face value what you are allegedly told. Time to go Portelesi and so should Jaaaaaaay.
    Comment 16 of 33
  • ptPosted at 9:07 AM November 01, 2012
    Grace Portolesi, If it was your child being molested? END OF STORY.
    Comment 17 of 33
  • Sam of WhyallaPosted at 9:08 AM November 01, 2012
    I feel sorry for parents that have no choice but to hope for the best in this system.
    Comment 18 of 33
  • Hillsgal of Hills near Mt BarkerPosted at 9:50 AM November 01, 2012
    It is mandatory that every person applying for work in an area where vulnerbale people (such as our Children) are involved must undergo a Federal Criminal History check. How then did this person gain employment in this field?
    Comment 19 of 33
  • Roger of SeatonPosted at 9:56 AM November 01, 2012
    More autonomy for school principals?You must be joking.
    Comment 20 of 33
  • Random Citizen of Down them partsPosted at 10:05 AM November 01, 2012
    Personally, I have always had no qualms about "innocent until proven guilty", however, once the conviction was made and the man place behind bars, was it not too much to ask that the school put a formal notification out to parents to put the RUMOUR MILL at the very least to rest, rather than us having to finally hear the truth via the media ? I am a parent of the school in question and believe me, the rumour mill has been rife for many many months. Confirmation via the media and nothing at all from the school is more than disappointing.
    Comment 21 of 33
  • Chalkie of EverywherePosted at 10:20 AM November 01, 2012
    TO STAY SILENT WHEN YOU SHOULD SPEAK OUT MAKES COWARDS OUT OF MEN. I don't care if it is my job, I am not going to protect the indefensible with silence and leave the vulnerable without protection. Happens at my school you will have to physically gag me from ensuring the safety and well being of students in my care.
    Comment 22 of 33
  • Stop the Cover-Ups!Posted at 10:54 AM November 01, 2012
    This government has a reputation for attempting to cover up all sorts of issues and to dissaude and even prevent people from talking about them. In short it has a culture lacking in transparency and a tendancy towards bullying those who dare to speak up. I shudder to think what skeletons we will find in the closest when a Liberal government eventually takes over.
    Comment 23 of 33
  • davePosted at 11:03 AM November 01, 2012
    i am a victom of sex abuse,he was a teacher at a catholic boys school until 2 years ago,that was when i spoke to police,its been nearly 2 years to get to court.the hole system stinks.
    Comment 24 of 33
  • Random Citizen of Down them partsPosted at 11:39 AM November 01, 2012
    Oh dear, Hillsgal......everyone has a clean slate until they are caught and convicted......this person was clearly one such case. I have a police clearance, that allows me to attend school camps with my children, but that doesn't mean I was always so clean cut (nothing like the matter being discussed) but I hope you understand my point.
    Comment 25 of 33
  • Jack of ItPosted at 11:41 AM November 01, 2012
    How was this allowed to be covered up? Why don't the police release a statement to the public? Stuff Grace Portolesi and the education system. Parents have a right to know.
    Comment 26 of 33
  • Paula SPosted at 12:22 PM November 01, 2012
    Another far more serious stuff up by the minister for stuff ups Ms Portalesi. Premier Weatherill must realise he can't keep covering up for Ms Portalesi just because she was once one of his advisors and now his closest Labor Left colleague in SA. It's rather clear our premier is more concerned with maintaining his power base than ensuring those more vulnerable in society are protected by every means available.
    Comment 27 of 33
  • Just one of the mumsPosted at 12:27 PM November 01, 2012
    It was allowed to be covered up because the Education Department wanted it covered up. Dig a little deeper people and you will find the answer. What occurred here was disgusting and as stated above the rumour mill went into overdrive. Perhaps had the education department admitted to what had gone on and fully informed parents once the accused was jailed then the backlash that Grace is now getting wouldnt have been needed. To protect our children we need to be informed and as a mother I demand to be informed. Duty of care sadly lacking in this case.
    Comment 28 of 33
  • Carol of AdelaidePosted at 12:32 PM November 01, 2012
    Dear Minister this is history repeating itself. 20 yrs ago in a Catholic school in South Australia it was deemed ,not to tell the wider school community two pedophiles had consistently sexually assaulted vulnerable children for 5 years .The outcome was that many more were raped and harmed and to frightened to tell their families. 20 yrs later we all live with the fall out of this decision and it is horrendous .They are adults now with incredible post traumatic syndrome and depression and are still fearful. This is thanks to a policy of cover your own back regardless of who gets hurt. Please be part of the solution not the problem and stand up for change and be a champion for children. I thought things had improved in 20 yrs but they havn't.God help those families who have not been identified yet,they are in for great hardship when the children eventually disclose.
    Comment 29 of 33
  • Had enough of Portalesi's frequent bunglesPosted at 12:44 PM November 01, 2012
    sack her now before it's too late
    Comment 30 of 33
  • Just wanted to know whyPosted at 2:38 PM November 01, 2012
    Can someone please tell me why Jay Weatherill keeps on protecting Grace Portalesi's stuff up's one after the other?
    Comment 31 of 33
  • Anita of GawlerPosted at 3:23 PM November 01, 2012
    Where is big brother in all of this?Hiding in the foliage off Greenhill Road and unwilling to become involved.What a contrast when there is a good news story,when the usual faces are there for all to see!If this happened anywhere else can you imagine the consequences?
    Comment 32 of 33
  • It makes me sick!Posted at 3:25 PM November 01, 2012
    Hey "Just wanted to know why" - The reasons why Jay keeps protecting Grace is that they are mates. Before Grace was elected to parliament she worked in Jay's office when he was Minister. Mates looking after mates! It's that simple. Makes me want to throw up.
    Comment 33 of 33

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