December 10 2013 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The damage done at a Havering special needs school where a paedophile teacher worked “could not be comprehended,” its headteacher said as a bitter war of words raged among parents.
They and other residents have become divided since the Recorder revealed David Bright, 30, had pleaded guilty to taking and possessing indecent images of autistic children.
Last week he was sentenced to three years behind bars.
One parent, angry that the school did not reveal why Bright had been suspended, wrote on the Recorder’s website: “The school opted not to tell the parents of the children that attend, until they were forced to send a letter after the Romford Recorder let the cat out of the bag.
“My brother is a police officer, and I have discussed this with him and he finds it laughable that the school implies that telling parents earlier would stall the case.”
However, some parents rushed to defend the headteacher.
“The headteacher has acted with complete professionalism to ensure that there was the correct outcome to this case,” one parent rote online. “Along with us parents, please remember that the staff are totally shocked and devastated by the actions of this despicable man.”
Another said: “I am shocked and disgusted that the individuals who felt the need to take their grievance to the media felt they could not speak to the school.”
The headteacher said a strategy group was formed at the beginning of the investigation into Bright, which included representatives from the police and social care.
She added she was advised that “any information leaked throughout could have an impact on the trial”.
Havering Council said this advice came from the “investigation team” (police) and “legal teams” (both the police and Havering Council).
The headteacher said: “I am sorry for the way in which parents found out and understand it is not the typical way we would like to share this sort of information.
“Trust has been battered and the extent of damage that Bright has caused within the school and wider community cannot be comprehended at this time.”
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.