The troubled history of Sydney's wealthiest school, Knox Grammar School
Knox Grammar has both a good and a bad reputation that are bigger than the private chat room scandal that is going on right now.
Knox Grammar is the wealthiest school in Sydney, but its reputation is better than that. Both good and bad things.
On Wednesday, several students from the independent Uniting Church school were suspended for sharing inappropriate images and making "offensive comments" in a private online chat room. Some of the conversations were also sent to the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes unit of the NSW Police.
Since then, The Daily Telegraph wrote about how deep the "Gang Gang group chat" on the instant messaging service Discord went.
Users with names like "Ni**er Removal Service" and "Fa**othater3000" and sexist, racist, homophobic, and misogynistic content were former students and friends.
"I hate fems One user wrote, "I hate gays, Jews, people who don't play Fortnite, furries, and ni**ers. I love titties, feet, abortion, rape, and drugs."
This is the latest scandal to hit the $35,000-a-year school, where former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, actors Hugh Jackman and Hugo Weaving, and other famous people went to school. The school's good name and reputation are threatened by its dark history of wrongdoing.
A sports director went to jail because of material that was harmful to children.
Nick Warby, who used to be the sports director at Knox Grammar, went to jail in 2020 after pleading guilty to having material about child abuse.
Judge Gina O'Rourke of the NSW District Court gave Warby 28 months in prison, 14 of which he cannot get out of. When she gave Warby his punishment, she said he was unlikely to do it again because he had changed for the better by becoming a Christian and giving up drugs and alcohol.
In August 2019, when he was 31 years old, police arrested him after finding more than 3000 photos and videos on his phone and other devices. At the time, he told police that being charged and arrested was "relieving" and a "blessing in disguise."
2015 royal commission on sexual abuse of children
Almost six years later, during the royal commission into child sex abuse in 2015, Knox Grammar was accused of hiding 33 years of sexual abuse of its students when they were children. Between the 1970s and 2009, five former teachers were found guilty of child sexual abuse during this time.
According to what former students told the commission, there were several times when children were touched and asked to do oral sex.
Documents about the abuse had also been lost, and the school had no way to explain or explain away this.
In another case, a 14-year-old boarder was sexually assaulted by a person wearing a balaclava in November 1998. But no one ever told the police.
Former headmaster Dr. Ian Paterson was singled out for his part in making the school a place where abuse could happen.
A statement from the royal commission said, "During Dr. Paterson's time as headmaster of Knox, his attitude and the culture he helped to create at the school were dismissive of claims of child sexual abuse."
"He intentionally kept information from Knox Council, which is in charge of running the school."