The Queensland state government in Australia has ordered an inquiry into reports of sex-related incidents. Newspapers reveal that in one instance six-year-old boys were running a sex club, demanding and receiving favours. There was also a report of a sexual assault elsewhere.
The Courier-Mail today broke the news of a sex club in a state school in Brisbane.
A Brisbane father said his son was one of a trio seen performing various sex acts in a toilet block.
"The teachers interrogated the kids and made them write out statements without our consent," he said. "The boys wrote down that they belonged to a sex club.
"The teachers didn't make contact for six days. They sent me an email and said, 'Sorry, we've been busy'.
"We believe older children were also involved. I want a full police investigation.
"I was on the phone for hours being fobbed off by the Education Department."
His revelations came as uproar was sparked by another Courier-Mail story, which told how the sexual assault of a seven-year-old girl by a young classmate was dismissed as a "childhood experiment" by a country school principal.
The paper revealed how the young victim was forced to perform oral sex on the boy who had threatened her with violence.
The principal was still working at the school yesterday despite demands from parents and child welfare groups that she resign.
Meanwhile, on the Sunshine Coast, a gang of nine-year-old boys has been accused of "grooming" children as young as five to engage in sex acts. Investigators were told victims were rewarded with lollies.
A grandmother of one of those victims said the Education Department had promised an investigation but it had come to nothing.
"It got nowhere and the offenders are still at the school being protected," she said.
"My grandson was scared to death and needed counselling. Of course we couldn't leave him there."
She said a little girl molested by boys more than 12 months ago at the same school was still traumatised and experiencing nightmares.
She accused the Crime and Misconduct Commission of simply referring her complaint back to the Education Department.
Opposition Child Safety spokeswoman Jann Stuckey said she raised similar allegations involving children in far north Queensland in May.
She said the Child Safety Department had failed to get involved in countless cases of sexual abuse.
And she criticised the State Government for the "appalling betrayal' of victims such as the seven-year-old girl who had to travel more than eight hours for counselling.
Friday Premier Anna Bligh admitted the principal of the school had been too slow to contact police.
A spokesman for the Premier said it had been agreed the family be reimbursed all reasonable costs associated with the child's counselling.
Subsequently Education Minister Rod Welford ordered the Ethical Standards Unit to investigate allegations.
He said the authorities would provide counselling services at the government's expense to any family affected.