The Advertiser - July 15, 2006
Woman lost job to act overabuse
A WOMAN forced to quit her schooljob so she could alert authorities to a teacher's sexual abuse of students hasslammed the SA Catholic education system for inaction over herconcerns.
Jenny Christall, a former educationsupport officer at Port Pirie's St Mark's College, said she had been ignoredwhen she told the school and Catholic authorities about sex abuse beingperpetrated by religious education teacher Sunil Francis Clark in2001.
Three years later, she had beenforced to quit her job to circumvent a workplace confidentiality agreement andexpose Clark's abuse, because no one had referred the matter topolice.
In the District Court yesterday,Clark was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, with a non-paroleperiod of three years, after admitting having sex with twoschoolgirls.
Clark engaged in sexual acts withthe girls at his house and in classrooms, which Judge Wayne Chivell yesterdaysaid constituted "sexual exploitation" of the girls.
Mrs Christall was the first personto alert the school and Port Pirie diocese to the abuse.
Yesterday, she told The Advertisershe had "lost everything" after coming forward and had been banned from teachingat more than 100 Catholic schools in SA.
"All this was ever about was gettingMr Clark unable to have contact with kids anymore," shesaid.
A statement released by CatholicEducation Port Pirie said: "The Catholic Church in South Australia continuallyreminds its community that if anyone has information or suspicions aboutcriminal or other inappropriate behaviour by any church personnel they shouldprovide that information directly to the South Australian police withoutdelay."
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