Teacher sacked from school before child exploitation charges
A teacher allegedly caught in possession of child exploitation material was sacked by an exclusive Sunshine Coast private school after he communicated with students on social media.
Matthew Flinders Anglican College principal Stuart Meade said the contract of Dean Carelse was terminated in October last year due to a code of conduct breach.
Mr Carelse was charged by officers from the Sunshine Coast Child Protection Unit for allegedly possessing and distributing child exploitation material.
It came after police raided his Mooloolaba home on March 20.
Mr Meade said Mr Carelse started work at the Buderim-based school in July 2019.
"His employment was terminated due to a breach of the college's staff code of conduct relating to communicating with students on social media," Mr Meade said.
Mr Meade said the college followed student protection protocols and reported the breach to the relevant authorities in the Queensland Police Service, the Anglican Schools Commission and the Queensland College of Teachers.
He said the college was advised that the reported breach would not result in criminal charges and that for "legal reasons" the school had been unable to discuss the matter with families at the time.
Queensland Police Service issued a statement on Wednesday encouraging potential victims to come forward.
The message was reinforced by Mr Meade.
"Police requested that parents who have any concerns about their child's interactions with Mr Carelse should contact Policelink," Mr Meade said
He invited any parents to email or phone him directly to discuss the incident.
"I appreciate that this is a difficult situation for many families and we shall support those who require it in the coming days and weeks," he said.
"The safety and welfare of our students are of paramount importance to all staff at the college.
"We remain committed to the protection and wellbeing of each and every child at Flinders."
Mr Meade said he had been informed by police that investigations were ongoing.
Mr Carelse was also suspended from his position as a game development officer Water Polo Queensland.
He is due to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on May 5.