Logan was born into a Catholic family in regional New South Wales. He was a high achiever in school and attended church regularly. When a close family member died, Logan was devastated, and his mother believed that sending him to a Catholic high school would ‘fill the gap’.
Logan entered the school in the 2000s. Having been placed in the top class, the 13-year-old was keen to do well. He knew how much his parents had sacrificed for him to attend and felt obliged to succeed and stay out of trouble.
However, life as a boarder was challenging. He began to notice ‘aggressive’ behaviour by some boys and soon fell victim to their bullying. Logan was once locked in a cupboard and left there for an hour. In Year 9, Logan was often wrestled with, tied up and left outside for long periods. He was also kicked in the testicles and stomped on multiple times.
Logan was 15 when two boys in his year, Kevin Bryan and Oscar Scott, began to assault him sexually. Bryan would hold Logan down while Scott would pull down Logan’s pants and put his fingers into Logan’s anus. This ‘game’ happened numerous times over a year.
‘At the time when I was at school, I guess because it was a part of the school’s culture, it just seemed normal.’
The dormitories had resident supervisors who would patrol the corridors before the boarders went to sleep. Logan said these ‘resos’ – mostly young university students who were former pupils of the school – often witnessed the abuse he endured, but didn’t do anything.
Logan did not know that what was happening was a crime and felt that he couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Recognising now that it was ‘student-on-student abuse’, he said that it had ‘definitely been going on for a while’ at the school.
Logan would hide in his dormitory during class hours because he knew the bullies would hurt him at lunch. He often got into trouble with teachers for staying in the dormitory when he wasn’t supposed to be there. If he wasn’t hiding in his room, Logan was at the sick bay. He vomited frequently and lost a significant amount of weight. The only thing that remained constant was his grades. Logan continued to excel in his studies.
Eventually Logan started seeing the school counsellor. Logan said that he felt ‘homesick’ and ‘on edge’ because he was away from his family. It didn’t take long before he disclosed details of the sexual abuse. He was sent home after making his statement and later was interviewed by a police officer.
However, the responses Logan and his parents received from the school and the police were disappointing. The family were told that the school intended to conduct its interviews rather leave this task to the police. It transpired that the boys that Logan had reported ‘lied’ about the assaults and no further action was taken.
Logan had a meeting with the school’s principal when the abuse was first disclosed, but she ‘refused’ to ‘deal’ with them in the meetings that followed. Not long after, Logan left the school.
Logan has been diagnosed with anxiety. He said that sometimes he can ‘fall back into depression’. He still struggles with his weight and his mother deems him ‘underweight’. Logan said he would like to continue counselling but has yet to find a trustworthy therapist.
His parents have engaged a lawyer and are interested in taking civil action. They would like an apology and acknowledgment from the school – and a refund of their fees. They believe they have ‘already paid’ for the school’s breach of their duty of care.
Logan feels it would be hard for him to prove the offences and he is keen to let it go and ‘move on’ with his life. He attends a different Catholic school closer to his home and enjoys it. Logan continues to excel academically and is looking forward to taking a gap year before starting university. He is interested in becoming a caseworker for animals and children.