Teacher fired for complaining about alleged sex abuser

MORE than two decades since an alleged sexually and physically abusive teacher worked in three Tweed primary schools, victims and witnesses remain furious that he has never been brought to justice.

A former South Tweed Primary School teacher, who says she lost her job when she complained about Gary Willis' behaviour, said she had no faith that police would ever charge the man.

"Its disgusting that he got away with it," she said yesterday. "They got the whistle blower and he stayed put."

She said the teacher's behaviour around children disturbed her from the start.

"He always had girls hanging around him and he was always cuddling them," she said in a signed witness statement.

"He wanted to do the overnight camps with the children.

"I attended every school camp, and at every camp 1 saw (him) go from tent to tent where the little girls slept, supposedly checking on them."

Gary Willis, photo taken in 1994.
Gary Willis, photo taken in 1994.

Another witness alleged some female students became very upset while on these camps.

Another has alleged to have witnessed Mr Willis taking students into a classroom store room for extended periods of time.

Some of the allegations made against the teacher are too horrific to print.

A Tweed woman commented on the My Daily News Facebook page: "As a parent whose children were taught by this teacher I feel absolutely horrified that nothing was done earlier."

"The fact that so many people shut the claims down is very sad for our community," she said.

"I would like to see justice prevail for all the parties involved in the cover up."

Another mum demanded the courts get tough on abusers as well as those who fail to stand up to them: "In regards to all this that is going on what becomes of the teacher/carers that neglected to take parental concerns and complaints seriously? I know some are still working at the schools."

My Daily News understands at least one of the schools at the centre of the abuse claims, which occurred in the 80s and 90s, has held an emergency meeting to determine how to deal with the fallout from the allegations which were aired at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by Banora Point mum Fiona Barnett last week.

The current principals from the three schools issued a statement through the Education Department declining to comment on the grounds it was inappropriate for individual cases.

Tweed-Byron Police also declined to comment on a matter before a judicial commission.

Demanding new role for passionate swim coach

Premium Content Demanding new role for passionate swim coach

A leading swimming club has appointed one of its former aqua athletes as their new...

No heatwave, but possible severe weather on the way

Premium Content No heatwave, but possible severe weather on the way

Parts of the Northern Rivers could be impacted by a severe weather warning...

From baseball to art: 8 fantastic things to do this weekend

Premium Content From baseball to art: 8 fantastic things to do this weekend

From astronomy in Casino to cooking in Ballina, there’s plenty to do this...