December 11 2013 Latest news:
by Jane Ball
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Furious families of special needs children taught by paedophile teacher David Bright have blasted the school for keeping them in the dark about the allegations against him.
“I share the worry and anxiety felt by our whole school community. As each child was identified in this case, families were notified by the police investigation team and continued to be kept informed throughout.
“It was essential that the legal process was allowed to continue and that we maintained the privacy of the families involved. If we’d spoken about this earlier then there was a strong possibility that we could have undermined the legal process and jeopardised the case. I have made myself available to every parent who has requested a face to face meeting or call and will continue to do so.
“All of my actions and decisions were and continue to be led by the investigation team and legal teams to ensure that justice was achieved. Privacy of the children and their families was prioritised and maintained throughout the investigation and the case that followed.”
The “trusted” 30-year-old verbal behavioural specialist at Corbets Tey School, in Harwood Hall Lane, Upminster, was first arrested in November and charged in December last year.
On September 2, Bright, of Goodwood Avenue, Hutton, Brentvvood, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of making and possessing indecent images of children, as well as one count of sexual touching of a child under 13. It is not alleged that any of the offences took place at the school.
But the first most parents knew of Bright’s crimes was when revelations appeared on the front page of last week’s Recorder.
A letter, signed by the headteacher Emma Allen, was sent to all parents last Friday on the back of the Recorder’s exclusive report, saying “I have not been able to share this with you earlier because of the criminal case, but also very importantly because of the privacy of the whole school community. I would like to advise parents that as soon as the issue relating to the member of staff was reported to us he was suspended and subsequently dismissed. We fully supported the police throughout their rigorous investigation.”
The letter also told parents that “The evidence in this case related entirely to issues outside of his school employ.”
But parents have been left reeling. One mother, who asked not to be named, said: “I’m disgusted. We weren’t told anything about it until now. The school kept it quiet. Parents are angry.”
“It calls into question who to trust,” she added. “David was extremely well thought of, a star teacher. He was championed by the school, people trusted him and he worked with some of the most vulnerable children. Children who can’t even speak.
“I won’t trust anyone else with my child again. I won’t trust the school again.”
One dad said the secrecy smacked of sex scandals of “the early 20th century”.
He added: “It’s a disgrace. They will never be able to take the pain away but this has made it 100 times worse.
“I feel guilty every day that I was handing my child over to him in the morning, thinking everything was okay.”
Bright is thought to have made and amassed thousands of images of children – but police have only been able to identify three youngsters.
One image shows Bright pushing apart a boy’s legs while he is on the toilet, the parents of the youngster said.
“We were just told he had left the school,” said one mum, “it was all very hush-hush.”
Bright will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday.
Three men will today go on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court for the rape of a woman in Romford last year.