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School sex crimes up by 255 per cent, porn culture to blame

Reports of sex offences in schools continue to rise, according to police figures obtained by a Tes investigation

venerdì 9 dicembre 2016

Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools


Thousands of children in French schools have been sexually abused by paedophile teachers, an international NGO has claimed, accusing the French education authorities of a decades-long “cover-up”


The revelations emerged when a 45-year-old headteacher in the town of Villefontaine, near Lyon, was accused of blindfolding two six-year-old pupils and forcing them to perform oral sex on him as part of a workshop on “experiencing new tastes”.

It later emerged that the headteacher, who confessed to raping nine other children at the school, had a 2008 conviction for possessing images of child pornography. Despite this, he had not been banned from working with children.

The French education system is set to become the focus of a national scandal after minister for education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was forced to admit last week that 16 teachers were allowed to work in schools despite holding previous convictions for paedophilia.

Marie Grimaud, the lawyer representing the two children, as well as seven others from the ages of three to seven, says in an exclusive interview with Newsweek that the cases coming to light at the moment are only “the tip of the iceberg”.

Homayra Sellier, founder of Innocence en Danger, an NGO dedicated to child abuse victims, says: “The ministry of education has covered this up for years. The government has never been inclined to listen to these stories.”

Sellier says her NGO is now being “showered” with reports of abuse. In the past few days, she has received dozens of new cases. One case can include complaints from as many as 20 children, and Sellier forecasts thousands of cases will emerge, a concern echoed by another French NGO, Lueur d’Enfance, which works to support and defend the rights of children.

According to Grimaud, teachers who try to speak out about child abuse at the hands of other teachers are silenced by school directors and local officials, and even threatened with legal action – usually defamation. Others have lost their jobs. As for the teachers the children accuse, they usually stay at the same school, or are quietly transferred to another. “The taboo is extremely strong within the French national education system about the existence of paedophile acts committed against students,” she says.

Vallaud-Belkacem, the education minister, has promised a thorough investigation into “the failures of the system” and has described the abuse as “intolerable”. The investigation will also ask why the ministry of justice did not regularly pass on information about convicted paedophiles to the ministry of education.

Yet Sellier argues that as well as changing the law so that anyone convicted of paedophilia is prevented from working with children, above all, children need to be listened to when they complain of abuse. “Children don’t brag about being raped or playing with a teacher for sex, it’s not like bragging about how many toy cars they own,” she says.

“French people are now going mad over this, but for us, this is not news,” she continues. “France has got to wake up now.”

National Scandal Over Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in french schools FELICITY CAPON

 4/8/15


Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of pedophilia-related offenses, Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem said most of those fired where male staffers. She did not say whether they were teachers or administrative personnel, nor when the offenses happened.
France was shocked by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils. Earlier this year, a high school teacher who had been convicted in Britain 10 years ago was given preliminary charges of sexual assault after police found pornographic images and video in his mobile phone.
According to a report aiming at improving communication between the ministries of education and justice published Wednesday, 19 members of staff in schools and high schools were fired in 2014 in cases related to child pornography or pedophilia. There were 26 staff at French schools laid off in 2013 for the same reason, and 15 in 2012.
"We believe that a teacher, or an adult, or an administrative agent in contact with children can't work with children as soon as he has been sentenced for offenses as serious as pedophilia or child pornography," Vallaud-Belkacem told RTL radio.
Legislation forcing the Justice Ministry to keep education authorities informed of previous convictions will be adopted soon, she said, adding that the Education Ministry is now authorized to scrutinize the criminal records of all the teachers it employs.
"It will take about one year as we are able to check about 3,000 dossiers every day," she said. "Every case will be checked to see if, in the past, we missed some convictions."
Meanwhile, the French Catholic Church is also facing child abuse allegations that led Prime Minister Manuel Valls to urge a cardinal at the center of the scandal to take action. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin insisted Wednesday that he never concealed cases of child abuse reported to him.
Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a preliminary judicial investigation that grew out of allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s.
"Whether it's school or church, I have a simple principle," Vallaud-Belkacem said. "Pedophilia is something extremely serious that destroys lives. The principle is no silence, total transparency. Those who think that things can be settled internally or by remaining silent are making a serious mistake. I will be firm and sanctions will be issued when necessary. I'm expecting the same from every institution."

French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse 2016-03-16




A French judge has opened an investigation into “failure to report a crime” after the victims of a paedophile priest said top Catholic officials covered up for him, judicial sources said Friday.

The victims alleged that senior figures in the diocese of Lyon, in eastern France, including Archbishop Philippe Barbarin failed to report the priest, who has been charged with sexually abusing minors between 1986 and 1991, to police.
A formal investigation was opened on January 27 after Bernard Preynat, the priest, admitted he sexually abused young Scouts over 25 years ago
His lawyer, Federic Doyez, said Preynat told the judge that “the facts had been known by the church authorities since 1991”, when he was expelled from the independent Scouts group he had led for nearly 20 years.
In an interview earlier this year, Barbarin, 65, said he had been made aware of the priest’s behaviour “around 2007-8” and the Vatican earlier gave the cardinal its backing, saying it had confidence he would deal with the matter “with great responsibility”.
Pope Francis, however, has previously said that any bishop who moves priest knowing him to be a paedophile is reckless and should resign.
“This comment does not in any way target Cardinal Barbarin who quite rightly suspended Father Preynat after meeting a first victim and taking advice from Rome, and this, even before a first official complaint was made,” a source close to the cardinal said.
The probe comes a day after Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell admitted he should have done more to follow-up on claims a priest was abusing boys.
Pell was giving evidence on Thursday to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney via videolink from Rome.
‘Crimes and cover-ups’
Pell has claimed at least two archbishops and other people in authority all deceived him by not revealing what was happening during a period of what he called “crimes and cover-ups”.
Earlier on Friday, the Vatican also defended the Church’s action on paedophile priests, saying popes Francis and Benedict XVI had “courageously” tackled the issue but admitting there was still much to be done in many countries.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said “sensationalism” surrounding the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight” and hearings into the cover-up of abuse by Cardinal Pell had given the public the wrong impression.
Some abuse victims insist the Vatican still has not gone far enough to protect children even in the West—where intense media coverage of paedophile priests has led to greater scrutiny of church practices.

French cardinal asks forgiveness for not addressing abuse allegation promptly November 22, 2016 AFP

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