MUT survey shows teachers living in fear…

Malta Independent

MUT survey shows teachers living in fear of false abuse allegations, fear affecting their work

More than two thirds of teachers who took part in an MUT survey said they feel that their work is being affected b reports of alleged cases of abuse by educators and the debate that follows.

A quarter said this was keeping them from participating in or organising extracurricular activities with students and 84% of educators believe that the identity of people charged with child abuse should not be exposed until the court finds them guilty.

The results of the survey, which was carried out over the past two months, were presented by MUT Senior Vice President Mario Bonnici at a national conference this morning. Mr Bonnici said there were 450 respondents and the survey findings will be presented to the Education Ministry.

Mr Bonnici said four main cases occurred before the survey was carried out: an LSA who was charged with abusing a child in Gozo, a man cleared of abusing a girl after seven years, the ongoing case of a Gozitan priest accused of abusing three girls and the case of a MUSEUM catechist charged with defiling a 10-year-old while swimming.

The MUT official said nearly all respondents said they were avoiding being alone with one pupil after these cases emerged. More than half said they had avoided online communication. Two in five suggested CCTV cameras in school to reduce the risk of allegations.

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