| Latest Crime News | Thursday August 23 2012 9:24
Kaitaia police fear there could be more victims of child sex offender James Parker.
The 37-year-old deputy principal of Pamapuria School has admitted 49 charges of sexually abusing boys.
Police have confirmed they sent a letter to the school's principal three years ago warning that unprofessional behaviour had been disclosed.
However, it appears no action was taken.
Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Burke says the police investigation is far from over.
"We've actually set up the 0800 number, due to perhaps people who have moved out of the Kaitaia area and may have been unaware of his details now that they've been released in public."
He says police warned the school three years ago.
"A letter was sent to the principal and as result of the investigations, perhaps unprofessional behaviour had been disclosed and this was brought to the attention of the school."
Senior Sergeant Burke says most of the offences currently before the court, took place after the letter was sent.
The school's board has quit and Commissioner Larry Forbes is running the school.
He says the principal is on leave and is extremely upset about the situation.
"He certainly has indicated that he's going to comply fully with the investigation and will contribute what he can to that."
There were rumours, but Parker seemed to be such a good teacher that no one in Kaitaia could quite believe the popular deputy principal from Pamapuria School was a sex abuser.
The Education Review Office is appalled a Northland school kept quiet when police sent the warning about his inappropriate behaviour.
The ERO says student safety is absolutely paramount because student achievement depends on it.
Spokesman Dr Graham Stoop says the Board of Trustees had a duty to disclose the warning.
"There is no evidence in the file that this letter was received. We are quite appalled that something as important as this was not brought to our attention."
Ngai Takoto spokesman Mete Norman says the community is hurting and the effect of James Parker's offending is being felt right through the Far North.
"Our main concern at this stage is for the kids, in terms of counselling and that sort of thing, and the suffering that they've been through."
A community meeting is being held a Kaitaia marae tomorrow night to discuss how they can move on.
Marie Berghan from the Kaitaia Business Association says the case has brought the whole town's judgement into question.
"Everybody in the past has said he was a very good teacher and very involved with children because he did the kapa haka and you'd see him sometimes in town with a group of children, singing in the street, things like that."
Ms Berghan says Parker has damaged so many young lives.
She says it's sad, especially since Parker was heavily involved in the town and was so likeable.
"It brings everybody's judgement into question because it affects your feelings about whether you can trust the next one, or the next one, or the next one."
Ms Berghan says counsellors are not just going into Pamapuria School, but to others the children affected may have gone on to.
The number set up by police is 0800 900 502.
Photo: James Parker (ONE News)