Pupils taunted over teacher abuse

By Peter de Graaf of The Northern Advocate -
James Parker told the court he suffered  "a most terrible disorder''.  Video screengrab / TVNZ
James Parker told the court he suffered "a most terrible disorder''. Video screengrab / TVNZ

Pupils from a Far North college are being taunted after a disgraced deputy principal pleaded guilty to abusing primary school boys.

James Parker had taught at Pamapuria School but pleaded guilty last week to 49 charges of sexually abusing schoolboys. He is due to be sentenced on November 15.

Since then, it has emerged police investigated an earlier complaint in 2009 but did not have enough evidence to lay charges. They did, however, warn the school.

Others have claimed they had concerns about Parker when he first started teaching 16 years ago.

Yesterday it emerged that Parker's actions have now affected pupils in the wider Northland community. Kaitaia College principal William Tailby said he believed former Pamapuria pupils now at his college had been taunted after the case blew up nationally.

The college was doing what it could to help those boys, while at the same time respecting their privacy, he said.

The Ministry of Education had given the college extra counselling resources to deal with the fallout from Parker's offending.

Meanwhile, more people have come forward to police claiming abuse Parker.

Police have so far received 30 calls - some from as far away as Christchurch - after an appeal for any other victims to come forward.

After Parker's court appearance last week, police set up an 0800 number for anyone with information that could help the ongoing investigation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Burke, of the Northland child protection unit, said police had received about 30 calls - some from potential victims who had not previously come forward, some from former colleagues, and others with general information helpful to the inquiry.

Most were from the Kaitaia area but a few calls had come from as far away as Christchurch.

It was too early to say whether any of those calls would lead to fresh charges, Mr Burke said.

Call 0800 900 502 with any information that could help the police investigation.

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