Basmah Qazi


Elite Sydney school issues “extraordinary” apology to student in newspaper

Elite Sydney school issues “extraordinary” apology to student in newspaper

An elite Sydney private school has issued a public apology to a student who was sexually abused by one of its teachers.

Sydney Grammar School took out an advertisement on page three of the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, saying it was “deeply sorry” and to apologise “unreservedly” to the former student and his family.

The teacher was found guilty in May 2017 for multiple counts of sexual intercourse with a student over a period of three months in 2016 when she was employed at Sydney Grammar School.

She was sentenced to seven months behind bars in early 2018 and has since been released from custody.

In its apology, the school said that in reporting the abuse he dealt with, the student had shown “enormous bravery” and that it was grateful he had plucked up the courage in “impossible circumstances” to make sure other students remain safe.

“The abuse of male students by female teachers is just as serious, and damaging, as the abuse of female students by male teachers,” it read.

“The abuse … had and continues to have a profoundly harmful impact on the student.”

The school revealed that they had reviewed their policies and procedures after the crime took place as they failed to recognise the abuse at the time.

For legal reasons, the student’s identity remains undisclosed.

Many have applauded the school for the move, saying it’s the perfect way to apologise for their mistakes.

“This should become the benchmark for apologies,” said Kristin Ferguson, Deputy Chair and the ABC on Twitter.

“A very effective example of acknowledging failings, articulating in detail why the victim was so brave & the courageous steps he took, then detailing the changes they have made. I hope it serves as a future example for others.”