According to the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne they have policies surrounding the protection of our children. Yet a number of children are still being abused by the family perpetrator that is going unreported. One child, who had his hand stood on “to pin him down” had three bruised fingers was not reported. The perpetrator admitted to this at Family Court, (after denying it for over 12 months, and the mandatory 12 month period had expired for him to be charged with assault).
Another child was punched in the face, had swelling, could not eat, and lost a tooth as a result of a blow to the face. This was reported days after the event, and the principal supported the possibility of the incident being an accident.
Then the most recent one (all from the same school) a child was hit hard enough to leave swelling and bruising on their thigh, the school called the perpetrator in and spoke to him. They did not even call Human Services as required by mandatory reporting.
This is the same school that a teacher physically manhandled a girl from a classroom in grade three and left marks last year.
The headmaster has already written an apology on one occasion to a Victim of Family Violence for yelling and screaming at their children because they did not want to go with the perpetrator home after he threatened to kill their mother in front of them.
The same headmaster also had secret meetings with the perpetrator of Family Violence on two occasions without consulting the mother (who was the only person on the enrolement forms). This was May 2012 onwards. He also interacted with the perpetrator via email without consulting the mother. It all came out in Family Court proceedings that the perpetrator had started a smear campaign against the victim at the school, and that the headmaster was supportive of this by keeping the meetings secret and even going so far as consulting with the perpetrators Barrister and Solicitor on a number of occasions. By the way the perpetrator and the Principal know each other personally relatively well.
The father only became registered on the enrollment forms in late 2013. Yet interaction occurred frequently without the mothers consent and/or permission. Actually she was unaware of most of the said interaction until family court proceedings in 2014. So much for privacy policies. And the headmaster in question? Well he should be named and shamed, Frank Servello. He has his own life coaching business and commenced the bounce back program for bullying in Catholic schools. He is retiring at the end of the year.
Father Bob the then Parish Priest assisted a child who had been sexually abused in 2010 at Catholic School in Prep. This caused servere distress to the Parish throughout 2011/2 yet Father Bobs determination about talking about it openly lead to his Gag Orders to be removed from the Parish.
Is this the start of another Royal Commission into Child Abuse in 2033?
According to the Catholic Education office:
Mandatory Reporting of Child Physical and Sexual Abuse
Mandatory reporting arises from the requirements of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic.) for the protection of children from harm due to physical injury and sexual abuse. School personnel mandated under this Act who, in the course of carrying out their duties, form a reasonable belief that a child is in need of protection from physical injury or sexual abuse, must report that belief and the grounds for it as soon as possible.
This policy assists schools to comply with this requirement and fulfil their responsibilities regarding the welfare and protection of children at risk. This policy complements the guidelines Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. A joint protocol of the Department of Human Services Child Protection, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Licensed Children’s Services and Victorian schools (the Protocols).