‘Truly horrific’: Claim of sex attacks at school
A YOUNG boy was allegedly sexually assaulted at a southeast Queensland school by a fellow student over several weeks before teachers were alerted, his mother has claimed.
The alleged victim's mother, who The Courier-Mail has chosen not to name, has alleged her eight-year-old child was sexually assaulted multiple times in the toilets by another student before his cries for it to stop were heard by a passing teacher.
She claimed she was told the alleged perpetrator had used another student as a "lookout" while the alleged assaults occurred, but that due to the child's age no formal action would be taken by police.
In a social media post, the child's mother said she "didn't know how to feel, didn't know how to react, I didn't even know how to process what I had just been told".
"The thoughts that were going through my head was that I'm a failure as a mother," she wrote.
"I let him down by not protecting him, I was angry that it even happened to him in the first place.
"I was sad that at the tender age of 8, he was exposed to what I find as a mother, to be truly horrific.
"When I picked up my son that afternoon, all I could do was hug him, ever so tightly, and just cry and tell him that I was sorry that he had to go through that."
The Gold Coast Child Protection Investigation Unit confirmed to The Courier-Mail they had been notified of an incident by the school, but did not provide further details.
"In Queensland the legal age of culpability is 10 years and over," a Queensland Police spokesman said.
"As the matter involves juveniles it is inappropriate to provide details of the incident."
Education Minister Grace Grace was today grilled in Budget Estimates over the alleged incident, and defended her department's response.
The LNP's education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie asked Ms Grace after the alleged victim's parents contacted the Opposition.
"Obviously we receive information in relation to many incidents that happen at school," Ms Grace said.
"The Department I know acts immediately and as the Director-General has said the school reported and took all necessary action in relation to this matter."
Ms Grace said she met with her Director-General and senior staff as soon as she was first made aware of the allegations.
"Immediately the opportunity was there to ensure that this matter was thoroughly investigated, that we were providing all of the support to everybody involved," she said.
In a statement the Department of Education said it was aware of an alleged incident involving students from a southeast Queensland school, and the matter was being treated extremely seriously with regional office staff working closely with the school.
"School staff are required to report instances of harm or suspected harm to relevant authorities as a matter of urgency. The school met this requirement," it read.
"Supporting the wellbeing of the children involved is of paramount importance."
"Students and families have been offered guidance counselling and ongoing support."
The Department of Education went on to say it was "very careful to protect the identity of children in its care and could not provide further details".