The parents of a seven-year-old boy against whom an unfounded allegation of sex abuse was made claim that the way the school principal over-reacted, and Tusla’s absolute refusal to delete the file, has ‘destroyed’ their lives, writes Michael Clifford
Most professional opinion would say that the allegation here didn’t even constitute sexualised behaviour between a six-year-old (as the boy was then) and a girl of seven.
Either way, the matter was handled according to policy. Parents were spoken to and, in a class on SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education), the teacher mentioned the issue of good and bad touches in the school yard.
Why does Tusla insist on keeping a file on the boy even though, judging by the details in the Examiner, it was 'much ado about nothing'?Requests that the file be deleted on the basis that it was an unfounded allegation concerning a seven-year-old were rejected. The family appealed this decision. The appeals officer wrote to the family with a decision, saying she “cannot agree to destroy this data and file as it has been correctly created in response to a report of a concern for a child, in accordance with Tusla’s own policies and procedures.”
The letter went on: “I wish to acknowledge to both of you the obvious difficulty experienced by you and by (boy’s name) following the report made by his school to Tusla. It appears that while Tusla’s own involvement was short-lived with a clear outcome for (boy’s name) which indicated no cause for concern, unfortunately other communications and decisions related to his former school have unfolded which have caused you significant difficulties. These issues however fall outside the scope of this appeal.”
Does it not occur to Tusla that the boy was 4 years below the age of criminal responsibility at the time of the alleged incident?
Why can't these social workers just let children retain their innocence instead of retaining files on them?!