Give child sex offender a chance - principal

Christchurch school
Christchurch schools have been told a sex offender is living in the suburb of Somerfield (File) Photo credit: Google Maps

A school principal says a child sex offender that's moved into her school's community should be given a chance to right his wrongs.

A number of Christchurch schools informed parents on Wednesday that a sex offender was living in the suburb of Somerfield, after being told by the Ministry of Education.

The person has not been named, and nor have their crimes.

Some parents have expressed concern, but St Peter's School principal Pamela Arthurs says pupils are not at risk.

"I'm confident that the measures we have in place at the school give maximum security for our children as far as we can possibly manage it. It's very carefully managed."

All visitors to the school have to sign in, she says, and kids have to be picked up and dropped off by their parents, unless arranged with parents.

"Being a smaller school, we get to know those who do come - anyone who is unfamiliar is quickly spotted."

Ms Arthurs says the offender should be given a chance to redeem themselves.

"As a Catholic school, we follow restorative practises and we know that's no soft issue, that's no soft-sell. We are very understanding of the need to reintegrate people back into the community with support... they need to be given an opportunity to make their wrong right."

And that means moving back into the community, says Ms Arthurs, where there are always going to be children.

"There are going to be schools all around, not too far away - that's what a community is about... Wherever a person goes in a community, they're going to be near children. To try and do something other than that, the only alternative is jail again."


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