A number of arrests could be made over allegations teachers groomed students for sex at schools on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Strike Force Southwood is looking into the claims made by former students of schools including Cromer High, where Chris Dawson was once a teacher.
Dawson is reportedly not subject to the sexual abuse allegations.
In a new The Teacher’s Pet podcast following the arrest of Dawson – who has been charged with his wife Lyn’s murder – New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said he hopeful alleged victims would get justice.
Chris Dawson (pictured) was a teacher at Cromer High School on Sydney’s northern beaches when he met Joanne Curtis, who he had an affair with and later married
Joanne Curtis, pictured in 2018, was a student at Cromer High School when she met Dawson
Ms Curtis (pictured) was 16 when she moved into the Dawson home on the northern beaches
He told the podcast how the strike force ‘currently running is looking into those matters’ raised by students.
‘I’m certainly hopeful that any victim that comes forward, even on historic matters, gets justice, our child abuse crime squad are looking into all of those matters,’ Commissioner Fuller said.
‘I know that people have come forward and we’ll continue to investigate those matters with the same passion and vigour that we have since 2015.’
In late September it was revealed 40 years of records from the school where Dawson had an affair with teenage student Joanne Curtis had been handed over to police.
Ms Curtis was 16 when she moved into the Dawson home, two days after Lyn disappeared. The pair later married but have since divorced.
The affair was no secret at Cromer High and neighbours had seen the schoolgirl swimming topless in the family’s pool.
Cromer, Beacon Hill and The Forest high schools are the three schools on the northern beaches swept up in the strike force investigation.
Historical teacher records from the schools were handed to officers following an order from the New South Wales education minister Rob Stokes.
Strike Force Southwood was established after former Cromer High School (pictured) students claimed in The Teacher’s Pet podcast teachers were having sex with students during the 1980s
New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (centre) said officers are investigating allegations of abuse at three northern beaches schools including Cromer High
The strike force was established after former Cromer students claimed in The Teacher’s Pet podcast teachers were having sex with students during the 1980s.
Mr Stokes reportedly handed down an internal order for staff to track down the historical personnel records so they could be handed over to police.
The details handed over to police are understood to include details about performance records and disciplinary action.
Robyn Wheeler, who attended Cromer High in the 1980s and was vice-captain of the school, is one former student who has spoken to detectives about the alleged abuse, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The 53-year-old told the publication she had met with alleged victims and had provided detectives with the names of 10 teachers.
‘At its best it was sexual opportunism… it was teachers using their position to have sex with students,’ Ms Wheeler said.
Teachers also boasted about sleeping with female students and giving them alcohol and drugs before making sexual advances, other students have claimed.
Dawson, 70, was arrested by police at the home of his twin brother Paul at Biggera Waters on Queensland’s Gold Coast following an investigation into his wife’s Lyn’s death.
He was extradited to New South Wales where he was charged with Lyn’s 1982 murder.
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