Disy MP Efthymios Diplaros is defending comments he made publicly about teachers involved in sexual abuse cases who face no consequences, dismissing criticism that he was acting irresponsibly with his remarks.
(Click here for an update to the story)
Diplaros, who was a guest on a television live news programme Wednesday, said he was aware of cases where teachers in public schools who had been involved in sexual abuse cases were simply transferred to other schools and faced no consequences for their actions.
In one case, he volunteered information that parents of one student held back in the case of their child because they were concerned how legal action might have affected their child’s school grades.
The comments came during a time when people are voicing their concerns over public education and health in Cyprus, following a number of incidents including a recent death of a school boy that pitted state doctors against the government.
In one case, parents of one student held back because they were concerned how legal action might have affected their child’s school grades
But the remarks also drew criticism from Anastasia Papadopoulou, a social advocate and daughter of the late former president Tassos Papadopoulos, who commented on the case on social media.
Papadopoulou said Diplaros’s comments were ‘irresponsible’ and that it was sending the message that people should not file complaints because school grades could be affected.
“Levelling accusations and ‘chit chat’ about child sex abuse is totally irresponsible, pandering to the masses just to impress, especially for sending out the message ‘don’t submit a complain because nothing will be done or the child’s grades will be affected,” Papadopoulou wrote online.
She further went on to warn Diplaros that the law provides for stiff penalties, up to 15 years, for those who know about sex abuse of a minor but do not report it to authorities.
“Maybe some should know better about their legal obligations stemming from laws that they themselves voted,” Papadopoulou added.
But Diplaros fired back Wednesday evening, dismissing Papadopoulou’s allegations.
“Those who want to speak of social pandering and moves to impress should first try to learn the facts,” the MP said.
Diplaros said that public officials knew about the cases and some even tried to convince people to go forward with their complaints.
“I informed everyone when I learned about this,” he said, adding that he could come back with another case if necessary.
Knews understands that Diplaros had told police about the case, including another one in Limassol regarding two female students who said they were abused by a teacher.