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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Investigation launched at south Dublin school after female teacher gives pupil device containing topless picture of herself

Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

An investigation was launched at a south Dublin school after a female teacher gave a teenage boy a computer which contained a topless photo of her on it.

The incident happened early last week when the boy opened the device, said to be a laptop or tablet, and found the photograph of the teacher topless with her breasts exposed.

The student reportedly then copied the image, added a message to it, and circulated it on social media.

Sources said there are reports that the image has been re-shared many more times and that it has now spread to people as far away as Cork. understands the student was suspended as a result of his actions.

However, parents of students are said to be angry at the school management because they claim there was no action taken against the teacher for having the image on the computer, which is school property accessible by students.

“The parents are up in arms over it. They say all the punishment has been in the direction of the young lad but nothing appears to have been done about the teacher,” a source said.

“They feel the punishment is one-sided and that the teacher must bear some responsibility. They can’t understand why they have not been informed of any action against her over this,” they added.

The Irish Independent contacted the school for comment in relation to the allegations that the female teacher had supplied a computer to a young male student with a topless photograph of her on it and that the image was accessed by the student.

The school principal declined to comment on the issue.

The Irish Independent also put it to the principal that while the child had been punished by suspension there appeared to be no reprimand or disciplining of the teacher. Again, the principal declined to comment.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said it had not received any report or compliant relating to this matter.

However,  a spokesperson stressed that it was very conscious of ensuring any information it received in relation to child protection matters was transmitted to the appropriate authorities in accordance with Children First Guidelines

“It is the responsibility of the relevant school authority to ensure that the procedures for dealing with child protection concerns are followed in accordance with department guidance,” the spokesperson explained.

“Schools are not required to report child protection concerns to the Department of Education and Skills.

“However, on occasion child protection concerns can be brought to the attention of staff in the department. Where this occurs the department’s procedures for responding to child protection concerns are followed.”

The spokesperson added: “While the Department has no role in investigating individual child protection concerns, it is very conscious of ensuring any information received is transmitted to the appropriate authorities in accordance with Children First Guidelines.

“Tusla and the Garda have the necessary statutory powers and expertise to conduct investigations in this very sensitive area.

“Any referral by the department involving a school makes clear that the agency can contact the department if it is not satisfied with the school’s role or cooperation during the course of their work.”

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