Act now to pro­tect our kids

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

AS YOU read this there are 5421 peo­ple in Queens­land work­ing with chil­dren with­out the key mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem for adults work­ing with youth – a Blue Card.

It’s a num­ber that will strike fear into the hearts of par­ents across the state.

A teacher’s aide who was given full­time em­ploy­ment while his ap­pli­ca­tion for a Blue Card was be­ing pro­cessed stands ac­cused of show­ing Townsville pri­mary school stu­dents a naked photo of him­self.

It is un­der­stood he worked in the job for five months with­out the Blue Card.

Given that this in­ci­dent has high­lighted even the po­ten­tial risk of these adults work­ing with chil­dren with­out the nec­es­sary safe­guards, to al­low it to con­tinue is ut­terly neg­li­gent.

We im­plore the State Gov­ern­ment to im­me­di­ately rec­tify this sit­u­a­tion.

The thought that one child might be harmed while we know­ingly ig­nored the pri­mary check we have for adults work­ing with chil­dren is not ac­cept­able.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Kate Jones fi­nally con­tacted the fam­i­lies at the cen­tre of this scan­dal yes­ter­day and said sorry.

It took her nearly a month and a num­ber of ar­ti­cles in the

be­fore she reached out to them. But her apol­ogy, if these al­le­ga­tions are found to be true, is cold com­fort to the chil­dren po­ten­tially trau­ma­tised when they should have been in a safe place and the fam­i­lies who are left try­ing to pick up the pieces. Her words are noth­ing more than lip ser­vice if they aren’t fol­lowed by im­me­di­ate ac­tion.

Each day that passes is an­other op­por­tu­nity for a wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing to prey on our chil­dren.

The fam­i­lies say all adults cur­rently work­ing with chil­dren and await­ing a Blue Card should be stood down un­til they have been given the tick.

They say Ms Jones an­swered their re­quest for a phone call but that’s all she an­swered.

Kate, what if it were your kids? Would you stand idly by for days, weeks or un­til af­ter the elec­tion?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.