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The Marist Schools Australia (MSA) has allowed John Thomas Newman to resume his role as principal at Marist College Ashgrove in Queensland following an independent investigation by a senior barrister. The barrister, who is experienced in child protection, found it safe for Newman to return to his position despite an ongoing civil case against him. The Queensland College of Teachers has also been informed of Newman’s reinstatement, and the association assures parents that all necessary actions have been taken to ensure the safety of students.

After becoming aware of the allegations against Newman, MSA and the school implemented several measures, including asking Newman to step down immediately. The association emphasizes that the matter is not a criminal investigation and no charges have been filed by the police. It is a civil claim for compensation that Newman denies. MSA clarifies that the outcome of a civil case does not result in a criminal finding beyond a reasonable doubt or any judicial sentence.

In a letter to parents, MSA Chair Dr. Declan Malloy explains the steps taken by the school and the association in response to the allegations against Newman. Malloy acknowledges the history of sexual abuse within MSA and apologizes for the harm caused to victims. The association and the Marist Brothers encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse to come forward and report their experiences, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Malloy also instructs parents to talk to their sons about the situation with Newman based on the information provided in the letter. The association is working to ensure the safety and well-being of all students at Marist College Ashgrove. The decision to allow Newman to resume his role as principal has been made based on the findings of the independent investigation by the barrister, who recommended Newman’s reinstatement.

If anyone needs help or support, they are encouraged to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. These organizations offer assistance to individuals who may be experiencing distress or trauma related to abuse or other issues. The MSA and the Marist Brothers are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of their community.

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