Victorian government facing lawsuits for shuffling paedophile Arthur Eaton to new schools 

The Victorian Department of Education is facing several lawsuits from survivors who were sexually abused by a teacher the department knowingly moved to other schools after fielding complaints of abuse.

The state school teacher, Arthur Henry Eaton, was convicted in 1996 of 25 counts of indecently assaulting nine boys, aged between 8 and 12 at the time of their abuse, at Warrnambool West Primary School and Derinya Primary School in Frankston South.

The convictions related to the sexual abuse of eight boys from Derinya and one from Warrnambool West, the latter of whom had brought his abuse to the attention of the school’s leadership in May 1992.

The response of the department at the time was to move Eaton to two more schools in succession — Belvedere Park Primary School in Seaford, where Eaton taught for the second half of 1992, and Derinya Primary, where he taught from January 1993 until his arrest in March of 1996.

Arnold Thomas and Becker confirmed to ABC Investigations that it has filed civil law claims against the Victorian Department of Education on behalf of the Warrnambool West survivor and four former students at Derinya.

Georgia Sneddon, the lawyer acting on behalf of the men, said “immeasurable harm” had been done when the department moved Eaton to Derinya Primary and exposed more children to abuse.

“This practice of moving teachers was more concerned about the reputation and well-being of the teachers, the schools and the department rather than the students,” Ms Sneddon told ABC Investigations.

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