Claims of Caboolture school sex assaults

THE parents of at least two primary school students in Caboolture have gone to police with claims of sexual assaults and verbal threats of sexual assault by other students.

They say that they were unhappy with how their situations were handled by Queensland Education.

The revelation follows claims earlier this month by the ABC that almost 1000 cases of children sexually abusing other children were reported last year.

One woman, who claimed her child had been sexually assaulted at a school in the Moreton Bay region, said she was not informed by the school until several days after the incident.

"I went into a state of shock because I just couldn't believe it," she said.

As the teacher specifically told her not to talk to anyone about it, and that it was simply described as "child's play gone wrong", the mother said she felt she was "bullied" by staff and the incident was not investigated properly.

She followed it up with the Caboolture Police Child Protection Unit, which did its own investigation and put the family in touch with Bravehearts to provide support and counselling.

A Queensland Education spokesman said all matters regarding harm or suspected harm to children were treated as extremely serious.

"Every Queensland state school has an over-riding duty of care to protect students from any kind of harm, including sexual assault," he said.

"Our student protection procedures clearly outline the responsibilities for all school staff in managing and reporting all aspects of student harm.

"Parents and students can be confident that if an allegation of harm is reported in a state school, it will be dealt with immediately and in a sensitive manner."

Detective Andrew Himstedt from the Caboolture Child Protection and Investigation, said all complaints were independent of the schools.

"If someone comes to us making a complaint, whether it be sexual or otherwise, we investigate it, regardless of whether it happens at school or outside," he said.



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