A video of ex-ABC presenter, Andy Muirhead, who was convicted of child porn offences, has been used as a teaching resource for an unconfirmed number of distance ed students across NSW.
Muirhead was sentenced to 10 months’ jail in 2012 for child pornography offences, pleading guilty to accessing and possessing 12,000 child pornography images and 24 videos showing children aged between three and 14.
And, up until recently, an episode of ABC’s Collectors program, presented by Muirhead, formed part of the material in a year 10 history course that was sent to distance education students who were studying via Camden Haven High School on NSW’s mid-north coast.
The program was taken off air by the ABC when Muirhead was charged in 2010.
However, it later returned with a new presenter.
An NSW Department of Education spokesperson said the DVD of the episode had been withdrawn.
However, they did not answer a question asking how many students the DVD had been sent to.
The spokesperson did say, however, that the school did not know of Muirhead’s conviction.
The parent who reported his concerns about the video to the school told the ABC he was shocked.
“To be a teacher in a school or to go into a school to talk, you’ve got to have a Working With Children Check, you can’t be on the registered sex offenders list … Andy Muirhead went to jail for downloading pornographic images, he was convicted of the offence.
“But it’s okay for Andy Muirhead to go into the homes of hundreds of children doing distance ed, developing familiarity with these children?
“Young children could bump into Andy Muirhead in the street one day, they’ve already got a rapport, ‘There’s that nice man who was presenting our history program’.
“They don’t know his background, there was no disclaimer with the DVD. It’s wrong to send it out”.