Education department likened to Catholic Church for shifting accused teacher from school to school

Fourteen men are suing the Victorian Government for alleged abuse by their teacher who was shuffled from public school to school, as the education department was likened to the Catholic Church for moving pedophile priests.

Drama teacher Peter Henry Sutton was moved from Rosebud High to Monterey High then Ballam Park Tech amid complaints to the education department and police about his sexualised behaviour towards male students in the 1980s.

The Victorian Government last month paid $700k compensation to one of Sutton’s alleged victims after he filed Supreme Court civil action, while this week 13 other men served fresh writs on the State and their ex-teacher.

Their lawyer Cameron Doig, from Arnold Thomas & Becker, said the education department’s “failure to protect kids across three schools in the Sutton case” showed the need for a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse in all government schools.

“After complaints (about Sutton) at Rosebud High School, the Department of Education could have easily prevented further abuse,” Mr Doig said.
“Instead, it did what the Catholic Church has done – it moved Sutton to Monterey High School and then Ballam Park Technical School as he continued (allegedly) abusing children.”

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