If this doesn't cause most parents of schooled children to seriously stop and think about their choice of place of education, then I'm not quite sure what will.
The right-minded people at ARCH (or Action for the Rights of Children: http://www.arch-ed.org ) have just put out the following press release:
Action on Rights for Children (ARCH) is alarmed by suggestions from members of NASUWT that pupils should be excluded from school and prosecuted for making 'malicious' allegations of abuse against teachers."We appreciate that false allegations are distressing to teachers, just as they are to police officers and other professionals - or, indeed, to anyone wrongly accused of a criminal offence, " says Terri Dowty, Policy Director of ARCH. "However, we are concerned that the threat of prosecution would deter pupils from reporting abuse."
News reports from BBC Online show that during March 2005, 4 teachers were sent to prison for sexually assaulting pupils, and another for making indecent films of children. During the Autumn term, 20 teachers and 2 teaching assistants were convicted of child sex offences."Some of the convictions relate to offences going back over several years, illustrating just how painful it can be for children to reveal sexual abuse.
It is an offence that is often difficult to prove, and any risk that an abused child could face exclusion and prosecution, having already endured the ordeal of giving evidence and being disbelieved, is simply unacceptable."