Parents are keeping their children home from a Catholic school in a bid to push authorities to remove two boys accused of separate sex offences.
About 30 parents attended a meeting near the school today to voice concerns that they were unaware that two students were facing criminal charges.
A 17-year-old student from the school was last month sentenced to a 12-month intensive youth supervision order in the Perth Children’s Court in relation to three counts of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of indecent dealings with a child. A 12-year-old charged with one count of sexual penetration of a child is due to appear in court next month.
Parents who attended the meeting were urged to keep their children at home. They also agreed to complain to the school and to Catholic Education WA.
One of the meeting organisers, a parent who has kept his two children home for the past two days, said the two boys should not be anywhere near other students, even if they were under constant supervision.
“The school needs to get the kids removed,” he said. “They clearly don’t belong in the school with other kids. We need to send a message to Catholic Education and hopefully get something done about it.”
A similar uproar occurred at a northern suburbs public primary school last month when parents became aware that a 10-year-old boy at that school had pleaded guilty to sexual penetration of a child and threatening to kill. The student was removed after many parents withdrew their children in protest.
A letter sent to parents at the Catholic school yesterday said concerns about child safety were “confronting and distressing”, but assured them their children were safe.
A statement from Catholic Education WA said it did not comment publicly on matters concerning individual students enrolled in Catholic schools.
“Catholic schools are compliant with all mandated government requirements, backed by stringent child protection policies and staff training,” it said.
“These policies and procedures conform to the legislative standards determined by the minister for education under the School Education Act.”