WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

How three Sydney schools which were ‘hotbed’ of teacher-student sex are under investigation

The sordid underbelly of high schools on the Northern Beaches in the 1980s can be exposed after the end of the murder trial of former Cromer High School gym teacher Chris Dawson.

Three high schools that were reportedly “hotbeds” of student-teacher sexual activity in the 1980s — when teens were cheated on drink, drugs and molested — are the subject of an active police investigation and separate legal claim for damages.

Dawson’s former school, now called Northern Beaches Secondary College Cromer Campus, is being investigated along with the Forest and Beacon Hills high schools by Strike Force Southwood of the NSW Police Crime Command.

At the same time, Maurice Blackburn’s lawyers are seeking damages for former students of the schools, although there is no suggestion Chris Dawson is the subject of that legal claim.

The seedy underbelly of school culture was exposed on the award-winning The Teacher’s Pet podcast, which featured prominently during Dawson’s two-month trial.

Dawson, 73, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife and mother of two, Lynette, who disappeared from the Bayview house in Sydney in January 1982.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison’s verdict of guilt or innocence for Dawson is imminent.

Dawson’s lawyers successfully argued last week that a lawsuit against the 73-year-old on charges (introduced by Strike Force Southwood) of carnal knowledge for allegedly having sex with a college student between the ages of 10 and 17 would be postponed until May 2023.

Chris Dawson was a PE teacher at Cromer High School, one of three schools in northern Sydney under investigation by police for being a hotbed of teacher-pupil sex in the 1980s.

Chris Dawson was a PE teacher at Cromer High School, one of three schools in northern Sydney under investigation by police for being a hotbed of teacher-pupil sex in the 1980s.

Students who attended the same school as teenage babysitter JC (above) told Strike Force Southwood detectives four decades ago about the rampant sex culture on the northern beaches

Students who attended the same school as teenage babysitter JC (above) told Strike Force Southwood detectives four decades ago about the rampant sex culture on the northern beaches

The Strike Force is investigating 20 teachers some of whom alleged victims claim “used their position to have sex with students” amid a “beach culture” at a time when teachers’ sex with teens was “not a problem” .

A former pupil of one of the secondary schools surveyed told the Daily Mail Australia that her teacher had beaten every girl in his class and that ‘we were all encouraged to go to local pubs who were underage at the request of teachers’.

“That early 1980s era on the beaches was full of male teachers trying to beat students, preying on girls from broken homes,” she said.

The former Cromer High School is one of three North Beach schools being investigated by NSW detectives over allegations that teachers had sex with students under 17

The former Cromer High School is one of three North Beach schools being investigated by NSW detectives over allegations that teachers had sex with students under 17

‘It was a breeding ground for essentially pedophiles. Horrible times. It would be good if all these predators were brought to justice.”

During the murder trial of Chris Dawson, the court heard how schoolgirl JC, who became the babysitter for Dawson and his first wife Lynette, was assaulted by him when she was 15 and he was twice his age.

In 1980, at age 16 and living in a cramped and troubled house with an alcoholic and abusive stepfather, JC moved into the Dawsons’ marital home, where she swam topless in their backyard pool.

The prosecution alleged that Dawson “installed” JC in the house after Lynette’s murder in order to have an unfettered relationship with the teen.

Dawson’s defense was that Lynette Dawson had voluntarily left her two young daughters to flee a failed marriage.

At the trial, Cromer students and others testified how JC was seen openly on Chris Dawson’s knee in the teachers’ lounge of the school’s gym teacher.

Chris Dawson, now 73 years old, awaits the judge's verdict after the end of his trial for the alleged murder of his first wife Lyn (above the couple together as school students themselves) in 1982

Chris Dawson, now 73, awaits a judge’s verdict after the end of his trial for the alleged murder of his first wife Lyn (above, the couple together as school students themselves) in 1982

The trial heard from women who were teenage students at Cromer High School in the 1970s and 1980s, who spoke on the podcast The Teacher’s Pet, and have since been interviewed by Strike Force Southwood detectives.

Teacher files dating back 40 years have been handed over to police investigating allegations that staff groomed and preyed on students for sex.

Damage claims against the NSW Department of Education seek payouts of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for psychological harm from teacher abuse.

If former teachers are accused of having sex with students under 17, they could face up to 14 years in prison.

The Department of Education has confirmed it has transferred files from three schools to Strike Force Southwood.

Former NSW Education Secretary Rob Stokes called the allegations “shocking”.

Daily Mail Australia has asked for comment from the current minister, Sarah Mitchell.

NSW Police and Maurice Blackburn attorneys declined to comment further on the cases.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More