10 Sep 2012

Inquiry begins into sex-offender teacher

12:39 pm on 10 September 2012

An inquiry by the Ministry of Education begins this week into the activities of a Far North teacher who sexually abused his pupils.

Pamapuria School former deputy principal James Parker, 37, is to be sentenced on 15 November, after admitting 49 charges involving more than a dozen boys. He was convicted in Kaitaia District Court on 22 August.

School Commissioner Larry Forbes said the inquiry will look into Parker's entire teaching history and his activities at two other schools where he worked before Pamapuria.

He says it's extremely disturbing that Parker was able to get away with his offending for as long as he did.

The ministry has appointed an investigator with a legal background, who will talk to parents, teachers and community groups in the Far North who had dealings with Parker, going back to the 1990's.

Parker is being held in custody. Police warned the school about him in 2009, but nothing was done.