School bans sex victim from ball ... but offender can go
A private high school has banned a former student from attending its senior school ball because a boy who had sexually assaulted her will be there.
The father of the 16-year-old girl said she had been assaulted when she had too much to drink and fell asleep at a party this year.
He reported it to police, who charged the student with aggravated sexual penetration without consent. The boy pleaded guilty and was given a six-month community-based order.
The father said even though he could understand the school's view that the boy was still a current student and his daughter was not, it seemed unfair she should miss out through no fault of her own.
"It seems wrong to me on so many levels that she seems to be being victimised again," he said.
The principal of the school, which is not named for legal reasons, said he understood a court order was in place that barred the two teenagers being near each other.
He said the boy was still enrolled and had not broken any school rules, so he was entitled to attend events such as excursions and the school ball.
"An issue happened outside of school, not related to school and was dealt with outside of school," the principal said.
"We're just adhering to the court order that we believe to be in place by saying our currently-enrolled student is allowed to go to our school ball, but because there's a court order saying these two people cannot be in the same venue, this parent's daughter, who is not a currently enrolled student in our school, can't be.
"I have no room to move on this. We were simply following what we believe to be legal processes."
The girl, who left the school at the end of last year to do a vocational course, said she was devastated to find out last week she would not be permitted to attend the ball.
She had been invited as the guest of a female friend who was still a student and had bought a $100 ticket, a $300 dress, make-up and jewellery and she had booked a hairdresser.
"I spent quite a few days crying," the girl said.
"I've always looked forward to going to the ball."
The girl's mother said she could have accepted the ban if they had been given more notice, instead of waiting until everything was organised and paid for.