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Sex offender's crimes swept under the rug


There is a particularly disturbing fact that came out of the recent sexual assault case involving Ronald George Dawe, a retired teacher living in South Brook. When his then-teenage victims reported his crime (the assaults took place between 1976-1979) to school officials at the small central community he was a teacher in at the time, they opted to transfer Mr. Dawe to a school in another central community rather than report him to police, even though he admitted to them that he had in fact sexually assaulted the teenage girls.

There is a particularly disturbing fact that came out of the recent sexual assault case involving Ronald George Dawe, a retired teacher living in South Brook.

When his then-teenage victims reported his crime (the assaults took place between 1976-1979) to school officials at the small central community he was a teacher in at the time, they opted to transfer Mr. Dawe to a school in another central community rather than report him to police, even though he admitted to them that he had in fact sexually assaulted the teenage girls.

This is abhorrent on a number of levels - legally, morally and ethically. School teachers and administrators are entrusted by parents to not only provide an education to their children, but to also do whatever they can to protect the safety and health of the students. Given the fact that Mr. Dawe, through his role as a teacher, was placed in a position of trust and broke that bond by assaulting the teenagers should have been even more reason, not less, to report him to the police.

In whose mind is it ever ok to be fully aware of the fact that someone is a child molester - even being confirmed of that fact by the molester himself - and then permit him to live as an ordinary citizen while still maintaining his job as a teacher of children? What were the school officials in that central Newfoundland town thinking when they made the decision to relocate him to another school in a different community?

It is evident that they were not thinking - at least not with a clear head.

How disheartening and disappointing must it have been for those girls during impressionable years in their life to recognize that what Mr. Dawe had done to them was so serious that school administrators should know about it, only to have the incident swept under the rug?

How numbing must it have felt to know that these people in positions of authority essentially refused to validate what happened to them by taking appropriate action against their attacker?

The fact of the matter is - and statements of facts that were read aloud during court proceedings corroborate this - that Mr. Dawe's victims have been adversely affected by the horrors of what happened to them. It took three decades before they were mentally and emotionally ready to take legal action against him.

A certain degree of closure could have been achieved for these people much sooner if school officials at the time had taken the action they should have rather than turn a blind eye.

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