Primary school responds to ‘upset’ parents after principal is accused of sending a photo of his penis to an undercover cop posing as a 14-year-old girl while using the alias ‘Die Hard’ online
- The Education Department has responded to parents after principal accusations
- Shayne Harris is accused of sending a photo of his penis to undercover police
- He allegedly thought he was sending the explicit image to a 14-year-old girl
A primary school has responded to parents after it’s principal was accused of sending a photo of his penis an undercover cop posing as a 14-year-old girl, while using the alias ‘Die Hard’ online.
Shayne Harris, who held the top job at head Aveley North Primary School – 29km northeast of Perth – appeared in court on Thursday charged with using electronic communication to expose a child to indecent matter.
An email was sent to parents of children at the school informing them Mr Harris had appeared in court the previous day ‘facing serious charges’.
‘Mr Harris was immediately stood down from his role as principal due to the nature of the charges,’ the email read.
Shayne Harris (pictured) appeared in court this week charged with using electronic communication to expose a child to indecent matter
Aveley North Primary School has responded to upset parents after the veteran principal was accused of sending a photo of his penis to an undercover cop posing as a 14-year-old girl
The school acknowledged the recent event ‘may be upsetting and of concern to many parents, staff and students,’ The West reported.
‘We would like to reinforce that the safety of all students is our number one priority, and we expect the highest standards of behaviour from school leaders and staff. Thank you for your understanding and support.’
The departure of Mr Harris just three weeks before the new school year starts has put pressure on the department to find a replacement principal.
The email said Helen Taylor – a previous deputy and acting principal with a ‘strong connection’ to the school – would step up into the top role for the start of the 2023 school year.
However Ms Taylor is currently principal at another school and so the pressure will be on the department to find a replacement for her as well amid a chronic teacher shortage.
Perth Magistrates Court was on Thursday told Mr Harris had allegedly chatted to someone he believed to be a teenage girl via Google Chats on New Year’s Day in his home.
Prosecutors allege Mr Harris first sent two pictures of his face during that live video chat, before the conversation became sexualised. He then a allegedly posted a photo of his penis.
Prosecutors allege Mr Harris first sent two pictures of his face during a live video chat, before the conversation became sexualised and he then allegedly posted a photo of his penis
The court heard Mr Harris had been using the online alias ‘Die Hard’ before transferring to Google Chats, while using an email address containing his real name.
Mr Harris – who has led some of Perth’s most prestigious primary schools – was also charged with possessing cannabis and drug paraphernalia.
He was granted bail on condition that he does not leave the state, surrenders his passport and that any internet-enabled devices be inspected by police when requested.
Mr Harris is due to return to court in February.
Previous Aveley North school newsletters sent out last year had warned parents and students to be wary of sexual predators online.
On Thursday, the WA Department of Education called for the long-time teacher to be stood down following the ‘incredibly serious’ allegations.