Teacher bullied after reporting abuse
File picture: Getty Images

A teacher who worked at a prestigious Perth school in 1999 was bullied by other staff when she raised concerns about a colleague inappropriately touching boys in his class, a royal commission heard this morning.

The female teacher, identified as WG, told the inquiry working at the school was "like I was in a time warp" and the teacher's behaviour would not have been acceptable in a state school.

WG told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she became concerned when she walked into the fellow Year 5 teacher's class and saw him sitting with a boy between his legs, his arm around the boy's waist and his hand on the boy's stomach.

She told the headmaster of the primary school, who issued a written warning to the teacher, who tore it up in front of WG.

The headmaster did not seem to follow it up any further.

The inquiry has heard that the male teacher, identified as YJ, was charged a decade later and jailed for the sexual abuse of five male students.

WG told the inquiry that other teachers at the school turned a blind eye to the conduct of YJ, who had been teaching at the school since 1985 and was considered popular with staff and parents.

"After I made my complaint about YJ in the second half of 1999, I felt that some of the older male teachers who had also been teaching at the school for a number of years started not to like me and were really quite nasty to me," she said.

"I felt bullied and tried to keep my head down. I was worried that if I made too much noise about YJ's behaviour my job was in jeopardy.

"Within the school it was very much my word against YJ's."

Yesterday, the inquiry heard from the student who launched the police investigation in 2009 when he disclosed that YJ molested him as a Year 5 student in 2000, a year after WG's complaint.

WG said she was moved in 2000 from Year 5 to Year 6, which was in another part of the school campus, and believed she was moved to keep her away from YJ.

She resigned at the end of that year and went to an independent girls' school.

Her resignation was "absolutely" because her concerns about YJ were ignored, she said.

"I was on my own. I wasn't going to be listened to, no matter what I said.

"He was really well regarded amongst staff and especially amongst parents.

"Other staff members confronted me and said, 'How can you say these things? He's been here for a long time'.

"He was sort of a little bit untouchable because he was this fantastic teacher who really cared about the kids and did everything for the kids."

The inquiry continues.

The West Australian

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