Prestigious school at centre of abuse not named
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Teachers at a private school felt ostracised and isolated after raising concerns about the behaviour of a colleague who sexually abused five boys, a royal commission public hearing in Perth was told this morning.

The hearing was also told that when allegations of a student being sexually abused by the former teacher came to light in 2009, the school informed the then accused teacher before notifying police.

Opening the 12th case study of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, counsel assisting the inquiry Sophie David said the hearing would examine the school's response to earlier complaints about the teacher, it's procedures and policies and it's actions after the teacher was charged.

The convicted teacher, who is serving a five-year jail term after being convicted of committing sex offences against five students, has not been identified to protect the identity of the man's victims.

And the school will not be named despite an application by one student molested by the teacher.

Ms David told the hearing that between 1999 and 2005, several teachers and parents made complaints about the nature of contact between the teacher, who is identified as YJ, and students.

But YJ continued to teach primary school students and take part in the school community until a student first made an allegation of sexual abuse by YJ in 2009.

REMOTE VICTIMS HEARD | ROYAL COMMISSION FULL COVERAGE

The hearing will include evidence from one of YJ's five victims, identified as WP, and his mother, known as WQ.

"WP first raised allegations of sexual abuse by YJ in 2009," Ms David told the hearing.

"However, the school had long been aware of concerns raised by teachers and parents about YJ's conduct and contact with students.

"Those concerns were raised with the school between 1999 and 2005. Yet, YJ continued to teach at the school, have the inevitable contact with students and sexually offend against students."

Three teachers who raised concerns about YJ's behaviour with the then head of its preparatory school and a former headmaster will also give evidence.

WP applied through his lawyer to give open evidence about the identity of the teacher who abused him and the school where it occurred.

Solicitor Andrew Boe submitted to the royal commission that his client should have the right to "open justice".

Mr Boe argued that his client, now 23, wanted other potential victims of the teacher to be able to come forward to authorities.

However, Ms David said there were suppression orders made by the District Court and a law in WA protecting victims from being identified.

She said two of the five victims were still at the school and one former student had raised concerns that he would be identified in the community if the names were made public.

Commission chair Jennifer Coates said she understood why WP would want to give open evidence but she could not allow it.

Justice Coates said the decision was made not to protect the reputation of the institution or perpetrator, but to avoid further harm to the other victims and comply with WA law.

Witnesses are expected to start giving evidence after a morning break.

The West Australian

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