Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JCAF Media presence on the protection of children through child protection and sexual offender registers.

JCAF Intervention in School Child pornography case

The JCAF received and anonymous call from a concerned party. It was alleged that a senior staff member at a primary school had been suspected of downloading, and then printing, images of pornography, including images of the sexual assault of children (sanitized by society as "child porn") from the school's computer laboratory. It needs to be noted that these computers are also used by the primary school learners. The challenge (excuse) was that there was "no evidence" (except the printed images which were in the buffer of the computer which then printed out when another staff member went to the computer). What is this was a learner printing a project? The result of the challenge of no evidence was that the educator remained employed by and teaching at the school. This seemed unjust! We then engaged the media as the DOE and SAPS were already informed and involved and due to procedure and a "lack of resources" two months had passed and nothing had happened. In fact, the DOE had said he must not have contact with the computers (never mind the children) as there were no children from the school involved. We wondered how they could be so sure of this?

Below is the first article that appeared in the Star, written by a child friendly journalist, Candice Bailey. (This is the front page, see story at the bottom)

This is where advocacy and the media can truly partner and potential "censorship" is a very great threat. The result of this article was an intervention by the GDE and school to suspend the educator and the efficient analysis of the computer for images. Two educators were implicated, arrested and charged. See front page below. (Article in the middle of the page).

Please note the dates, it took a week to get this done where, until the advocacy intervention, 2 months had passed with no progress. We wait in anticipation for the outcome of the trial!

Luke Lamprecht