Monday, 25 July 2016

Drunken Tutors at Deaf Academy...

Raising the temperature on social media as areas clash over poor supervision at deaf schools and young deaf girls being put at risk of sexual exploitation.

Children at a school for the deaf were mishandled by staff, allowed to misbehave and engaged in sexual activity, a whistleblower has said.  Devon and Cornwall Police are now investigating the claims made against Exeter Deaf Academy. 

Three staff members have been suspended, but the school would not confirm this. The academy said it would act "quickly if it is found that any improvements need to be made".

Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education signSources from the inquiry told the BBC they received a letter from the whistleblower detailing claims which included staff drinking alcohol on residential trips. It is claimed the drinking led to a lack of supervision of students who engaged in sexual activity.

Some Comments:

#1 There were issues in Donaldson's Scotland too. I would think deaf or any other boarding school, have a duty of care to their pupils regardless of age. My partner attended one in her teens, and some of the stories she related to me were horrific abuses of some teen girls, a sort of common acceptance they were there to be used. 

#2  The legal age is 16 - so if it was to happen between two people over 16 and they both consented (and both weren't under restrictions in relation to capacity), who are the school to deny them the right to make their own choices (and others to judge them for it)? The care system is all about person-centred care nowadays; where the actual person is the person in the driving seat rather than the "institutionalised" system that came before it. It's a difficult quandary to be put in, because we've all been young and had feelings.

#3  A 'contentious' issue, is a sector of deaf teens have learning difficulties, are isolated from the mainstream, hearing peers, scrutiny, and usual norms, so more easily taken advantage of. It isn't a straightforward issue of 'age of consent', a number of factors down to the way deaf communities operate contribute to accepting things others would not.

#4  I've always been against deaf schools anyway for the very reasons this topic raised. There needs to be much wider scrutiny of the 'deaf norms' masquerading as cultural ones. This would take place in a wider integrated context. Where there is isolation and separatism these things will continue.

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