James Parker, deputy principal at Pamapuria School, just south of Kaitaia, pleaded guilty in court yesterday to 49 charges of sex offences against young boys.
But this morning, it has been revealed that the school was warned about Parker in 2009; Stuff reports:
SCHOOL WARNED IN 2009Most of Parker's sexual abuse against students occurred after police warned Pamapuria School that he should not have pupils staying at his house overnight, his lawyer Alex Witten-Hannah said.The school did "nothing constructive" about it, he said, and "the bulk of the offending took place after that".The police warning in 2009 came as a result of a tentative complaint from a child via a parent, he told Radio New Zealand.The lack of action from the school in the wake of the strongly-worded police letter was quite extraordinary, he said."It almost beggars belief. I had to see the letter with my own eyes to believe it."
This revelation really is quite extraordinary. Questions will now be asked, and legitimately so as to whether the school's apparent inaction facilitated Parker's ongoing offending against children who should have been able to trust him.
Perhaps that is why the school's Board of Trustees has been suspended and replaced by a commissioner, and the school's principal has gone on leave.