Topic: Child Abuse

Pamapuria principal pressed for answers

  • Northland

A response to a raft of questions is needed in order to fairly assess whether or not the principal of Pamapuria School can return to work. 

This is what the Commissioner, currently assessing the situation, has made clear to Stephen Hovell who is trying to maintain his role as principal of the school.

Four months have passed since Hovell has been absent from his role and he has remained tight-lipped about the sexual abuse that children at the school endured at the hands of deputy principal at the time, James Parker.

The Commissioner investigating the issue says if Hovell wishes to return, he would have to have “absolute confidence” in his ability to fulfil the role appropriately.  This is integral the Commissioner says to any consideration that will be given to the return of Hovell to his position as principal of Pamapuria.

Four months have passed since his deputy James Parker pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual abuse against school children.  Since then he was replaced temporarily by the Commissioner and Hovell is yet to comment nor played any active role in the investigation of the case.  Now the Commissioner says he must reply to the questions raised in the report about his management of the school. He also says the response is needed in order to make a fair assessment of his role in administering what for a long period of time was clearly not a safe place for children.

Apart from James Parkers’ part in this case, to date neither the principal nor any members of the school board have taken any responsibility for not following through on complaints bought before them relating to the management of the school and the safety of the children.  The Commissioner says once Hovell provides responses to the many questions he has, a decision can then be made about his future or whether or not he has one with this school.

However, many claim that regardless of the outcome, it will be one made too late for all the children who suffered and endured abuse at the hands of Parker.

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