Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

School warns parents on sex case

Letter says suppression orders concerning teacher's alleged indecencies are designed to protect the children.

Photo / File
Photo / File

A letter sent to parents of pupils at an Auckland primary school where a teacher is facing 11 charges of indecent assault against pupils has told them not to comment about the matter on social media sites.

And it has been revealed that the teacher was charged on Friday afternoon and ordered to keep away from the school, not to communicate with any pupils or staff and not to go near anyone under 16 unless supervised.

Strict and lengthy suppression orders prevent the Herald from publishing the teacher's name, the school where he worked or any information that could identify the young victims.

The man is due to make a second appearance in a District Court in the Auckland area next month. It is understood he appeared for the first time shortly after his arrest on Friday.

A letter sent to parents on Monday outlined the allegations and the court order suppressing the specifics of the case.

"As you know, a complaint was recently made against a teacher at [the school]. That teacher has been suspended since the complaint came to light and will not be returning to school while the investigation into the complaint is ongoing," wrote the Board of Trustees chairman. "The BOT wishes to acknowledge how difficult the past few weeks have been for the families of the children involved."

He explained that after a complaint from a pupil, the principal and board reported the allegation to the police and Child, Youth and Family.

A police investigation was launched and after officers spent time at the school "gathering evidence" they laid charges against the teacher, involving more than one child.

"Please be advised that suppression orders are in place primarily to protect the identity of any children who have made complaints ... These orders require us all to be careful of what we say as we do not want to jeopardise any legal processes.

"They mean you cannot mention the name of the staff member and you cannot mention the name of our school ... These orders cover verbal and written communication or other traditional media, as well as email and social media - so commenting to friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, etc, is a breach of those orders."

He said the orders also minimised distraction for the children.

- NZ Herald

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