The American from Mississippi was charged with soliciting a minor for sex and child pornography.
An international school in Dubai has announced psychological counselling for students of a teacher, who is accused of soliciting sex with a seven-year-old in Florida, United States.
William Ball, a music teacher at the Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai, (SISD) taught at the school for a single semester from August 2017, according to Beat Sommer, head of school. The American from Mississippi was charged with soliciting a minor for sex and child pornography.
School authorities told Khaleej Times that all secondary school students of the school will be given emotional support to recover from the traumatic incident. School leaders have also revealed that the students have shown great resilience in processing the facts.
“Our school has robust child protection systems in place to prevent such abuse and we must reiterate that there have been no such allegations from within the school community against any teachers at SISD,” explained Sommer.
Sommer said: “The school has already begun the process of working with the school community to ensure that the wellbeing of students is protected, focusing most closely on those students taught by Mr Ball.”
He added: “Immediately upon returning to school, all secondary students were informed objectively and transparently about the situation by teachers and school leaders. Particular care has been taken by the pastoral and child protection teams to underline the ways in which students can be heard and supported emotionally.”
Sommer stressed upon the fact that the students know that there is always someone with whom they can talk if they have concerns about how they are treated. “Children need to know to whom they can turn if they have concerns about how they are treated,” he said. Meanwhile, Luke Osborne, head of secondary school, said that as far as parents were concerned, they have been very supportive.
“We are very grateful to them for the support they have offered and their willingness to work with us to keep our school as safe as possible. This helps us be proactive in responding in the best way for our students,” said Osborne.
He added: “Our students have shown themselves to be resilient in processing the facts. Families must continue to be the steady models of the behaviour we expect in children, show them that we care, give them sound advice and above all reassure them that a school is a place where they can feel safe and secure. This is supported by maintaining key relationships with teachers.”
Providing expert comments on the matter, Dr Mohamed Yousaf, specialist psychiatrist at Aster Clinic, Muteena, explained that the first response of any child in this situation is fear. “Parents should be the first source of sexual education to children. Kids as old as 2-3 years should be told about what is acceptable and non-acceptable touch.”